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EU-Africa Business Forum call for concrete action for sustainable garment sector

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-03-01 11:31:16 – United Kingdom

The Joint EU Africa Business Declaration was launched at the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022, which was jointly organized by the African Union (AU) Commission, the European Union (EU), and European business organizations to influence policymaking and business activities, and reconcile concrete actions for a future sustainable fashion and textile industry.

The Declaration calls for setting up an 'EU-Africa Apparel and Ethical Fashion Fund' for technology transfer and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) support for capacity building and relationship enhancement across value chain actors to advance compliance with ESG standards.

It calls for technology and knowledge transfer, as well as the use of modern technologies and digital solutions to track sustainability performance and credentials for small and vulnerable players.

According to an official release, it also calls for aiding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in an overall green transition to sustainable value and supply chains, for those who are not yet ready, by funding changes in production processes and lowering trade barriers.

A clause also exists to establish textile industry hubs across Africa based on the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation's (ACTIF) experience, as well as to develop business incentives in the form of tariffs, access to funding, and trade facilitation.

Textile and clothing manufacturing is a rapidly expanding industry in various African countries. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa's garment and footwear industry is worth $31 billion and is predicted to increase at a rate of 5% until 2024. Currently, cotton cultivation on the African continent accounts for 5.8% of global output and employs over 450,000 people.

More than 15,000 specialists, government representatives, international organizations, and stakeholders attended the event.

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