UNIDO, WTO to raise funds for sustainable cotton production in Africa

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2024-07-02 16:37:07 – Benin

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have partnered to strategize raising $12 billion for sustainable cotton production in Africa. This effort targets resources for the textile and cotton industries in developing nations, particularly the Cotton Four (C4) countries—Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali—and Côte d’Ivoire.

A significant milestone in this initiative was the signing of a joint declaration aimed at mobilizing investment financing. This joint effort includes UNIDO, WTO, ITC, Afreximbank, and financial institutions such as the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). This marks a vital step towards meeting the investment requirements outlined in the amended Cotton Roadmap Initiative.

UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller emphasized, “Our combined aim is to encourage fair and sustainable local cotton processing to promote decent jobs and economic development in the region. UNIDO is devoted to leveraging our knowledge to improve local value addition in the cotton sector and support the growth of a comprehensive and sustainable textile industry.”

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala added, “West Africa is on the edge of a historic chance in the cotton and textile sector. We are working closely with UNIDO, ITC, and other partners to help the Cotton Four countries in expanding their cotton value chains.”

The participation of financial institutions is crucial to improving access to energy, infrastructure projects, skills development, trade facilitation, and unlocking investment opportunities vital for promoting the cotton-to-textile/apparel value chain in West and Central Africa.

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