As the 23 trade associations from 18 African countries establish the African Cotton Industries Federation (ACTIF) in Nairobi, the industry gets hopeful that this would ultimately earn a solution to resolve the vital issues concerning production, processing and marketing.
The federation being the first pan-African cotton organization aims at transforming the cotton, textile and apparel sector's incongruent policies into consistent ones, both at domestic as well as international trade development forums.
The 18 member countries of the ACTIF include Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The federation also intends to promote the industry in East Africa and the rest of the continent, as a key income generator.
At present, though Africa contributes to 12 percent of the world's cotton production, but over 95 percent of the same is either sold to other countries within the continent or to international markets before its is processed and the rest five percent is processed within the cultivating countries itself.
Now, in relation with the same, ACTIF suggested for introducing value added strategy in Africa which would enhance the industry.
The organization, so as to provide valuable local representation at the international level, while boosting co-operation, interactions, connections and promoting the inter-regional trade, intends to generate a common voice at the regional as well in the international trade affairs.
This comprises of advance level negotiations with the US regarding the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), so as to confirm its continuation in Africa to safeguard investment for the entire value chain, while preserving current customers and exerting a pull on new markets.
Jaswinder Bedi, Chairman, ACTIF, opined that the AGOA's deadline of 2015 for wrapping up the project should be stretched further so as to facilitate perseverance of the business.
He added that, they wanted AGOA to be more stable so as to further secure the African markets, as the AGOA-eligible countries are likely to fall prey to a crisis with consumers hunting for garments elsewhere.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India