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ACTIF urges Kenyan govt to set up technology upgrade fund
Apr '14
The African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) has urged the Government of Kenya to create a technology upgrade fund to help domestic cotton industry to get benefit of new technology.
Speaking at the launch of the 2014 edition of “Origin Africa” in Nairobi, ACTIF chairman Jaswinder Bedi said that such an initiative by the Government would help reduce the high cost of cotton and textile production in Kenya, and help the Kenyan cotton industry to become more competitive in the domestic, regional and international markets.
He said the Kenyan cotton, textile and apparel industry has duty free market access—to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and to the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement—but it is not being made full use of.
African countries like Kenya are currently drawing attention as a preferred sourcing destination due to the rise in labour costs in China and other key textile sourcing markets, and reviving the cotton sector at such a time can create 500,000 jobs by the end of 2015, Mr. Bedi said.
Speaking at the same forum, ACTIF executive director Rajeev Arora said high cost of doing business in Kenya is driving prospective investors to neighbouring countries. He also mentioned huge gaps within intermediate sectors of the cotton value chain as another impediment to the sector’s progress.
Cyrille Nabutola, managing director of the Export Processing Zones Authority, said the Government is taking steps to improve the investment environment, including by lowering the cost of electricity and marketing Kenya as a top sourcing destination for global firms. He added that the Government is currently working on managing price fluctuation for cotton farmers.
The event ‘Origin Africa 2014’, to be held in November 2014, is both an event and an ongoing effort dedicated to improving African cotton, textile and apparel trade. It involves collaboration with producers across the cotton value chain from farm to fashion, including accessories suppliers, home textile and décor to develop, guide and promote African trade.
The event will be the largest cotton, textile & apparel event in the region, and is profiled to raise the awareness of Africa as a place to do business and as a sourcing destination, change perceptions, and to make the continent more visible as a source of supply of cotton, textile products and fabrics, for international buyers.
The event will act as stepping stone to the ever-growing talented markets of the textile industries in the region and will be a rendezvous for exporters/importers, manufactures, buyers, suppliers and sourcing companies and leading trade moguls and a chance to experience the latest global technologies, according to the organizers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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