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
Some of the strategy’s main objectives are to:
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.
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.