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December 26th, 2011

Pan African Cotton Meeting in Benin – CONFERENCE

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will hold their Pan African Cotton Meeting on the 27th to the 29th June, 2011 at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou (Benin).

This event is aimed at government officials who work in the field of commerce, industry and agriculture; corporate leaders involved in the production, trading, financing and distributing of cotton and textiles; representatives of international organisations; authoritative experts, academics and NGOs specializing in cotton issues and is being financially supported by the Common Fund for Commodities and the European Union.

The Pan-African Meeting on Cotton works in alignment with the mandate of UNCTAD which addresses the necessary links between international commodity trade and national development.

 

The specific objective of the Pan-African Cotton Meeting this year is to define a Road Map for the cotton  sector in Africa for the next 10 years prioritising in

  • Increasing productivity
  • Improving marketing
  • Increasing value addition

Attending the conference will be various industry representatives, government officials, producer organizations, national industries, and international buyers, as well as development partners from international and bilateral organizations. Including the EU-Africa Partnership Action Framework on cotton (which was established to address the concerns of African cotton value chains strongly affected by the decrease in cotton prices during the 1990’s and beyond 2000’s) there already exists national as well as regional strategies for the cotton sectors and this event intends to build upon this and respond to the request of the African cotton producing countries. During the multi-stakeholder meeting on cotton organised by UNCTAD’s Secretary-General in Geneva on 2nd December 2008, the African states requested that UNCTAD organize a second gathering of all stakeholders of the cotton sectors to discuss solutions to the challenges faced by the African states dependent on cotton exports.  The Government of Benin offered to host this second meeting which will have presentations on:

  • the challenges and opportunities in the value-chains of cotton products.
  • on relevant thematic components included in national and regional strategies for the cotton sector.
  • Proposals for Road Map elements produced by an independent preliminary study.

It is a well needed meeting especially in the light of the fluctuating costs of cotton at present and the ongoing debates about US subsidies and EU subsidies pushing African cotton and their cotton farmers out of the market, this event should create an opportunity for various and contrasting members and actors from across the cotton value chains (from producers to textile spinners) and from across Africa (and other regions) to meet, From this they will be able to share experiences and discuss directly with policy makers, identify specific obstacles and market-failures, and so work on ways to actively improve the efficiency and profitability of the cotton sector for all actors across the value-chain.

Africa Fashion Guide aims to address all areas of the African fashion and textile industry and to create awareness of the full supply chain with an ethical and sustainability perspective. We will be blogging more about events such as these, attending such events and updating and informing you on the textiles and farming aspect of the industry too. The website which launches end of the summer 2011 will be your one stop shop for all areas of this industry and encourage you to watch this space and read on for regular updates on its launch.

The meeting was initiated by the UNCTAD in partnership with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the Steering Committee of the European Union – Africa Partnership (COS-Coton) and the Government of Benin.

Author: Jacqueline Shaw





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