Countries / Territories

ITC's role in Africa

  • ITC’s programmes in Africa encourage regional trade and cooperation for global gains, targeting specific sectors of particular interest to African countries. ITC assisted COMESA and the African Cotton Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF) to develop a regional cotton to clothing strategy, which was formally launched during the COESA Heads of state summit in June 2009. In addition, in Central and West Africa, ITC works with the African Cotton Association (ACA) and the African Cotton Producers Association (AProCA) as well as with CEMAC and UEOMA to develop a regional strategy for Central and Western Africa. These efforts involve representatives from all stages of the cotton value chain drawn from across the Eastern and Southern African regions, including farmers, seed developers, ginners, domestic merchants, research institutions, textile and clothing manufacturers and public sector representatives.

    Some of the strategy’s main objectives are to:

    • Increase production of quality cotton and raise farmer incomes
    • Expand access to affordable agricultural inputs and farm credit
    • Improve production of quality lint and enhance market penetration
    • Increase competitiveness and intra-regional trade in the textile sub-sector
    • Diversify product lines and make clothing manufacturing more efficient
    • Develop a regional value chain that uses African materials and adds value to African cotton through textile processing and fully exploits duty-free market access for clothing products

    As well as assisting with implementing the strategy, ITC also seek to attract other development partners to focus on work that go beyond ITC’s mandate and core competencies.

    A bigger role for Africa

    ITC’s efforts are aimed at making Africa a stronger player in the international cotton trade. This entails boosting competiveness and establishing stronger links with cotton importers, especially in Asia.

    To compete better, all stakeholders – from farmers and ginners to commission agents and government officials – need a better understanding of destination markets and consumers, as well as the value chain itself. The ITC Cotton Exporters’ Guide provides this valuable information. Using the Guide’s marketing and trading analysis, African farmers and ginners can improve their negotiating position and exploit possible price premiums. The Cotton Guide is also available online.

    ITC also plans to assist African cotton-producing countries to develop a Cotton Trading School. This would involve using existing bodies, such as universities, to host training events aimed at building capacity in cotton trading. The curriculum will be based on the subjects covered in the Exporter’s Guide.


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