Wire is often used to decorate objects. Now it is sold in shops, but formerly was made in a small number of specialist workshops.

Although all the wire used in decorating objects in Africa in recent years has been produced from imported sources of iron, copper and brass, as well as gold and silver, it was formerly made in many parts of Africa. The most important places where it was made were found in Ruanda, and adjacent parts of Tanzania south-west of Lake Victoria, using locally smelted iron and Katanga, the southern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, using the local sources of copper.