WTO and FIFA launch brand to boost Africa's cotton industry

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2024-02-29 16:52:49 – Switzerland

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have introduced a new brand to support Africa's cotton industry. This move is seen as crucial in helping cotton producers and manufacturers access new markets, especially in the sports apparel and garment industry. They urge both public and private sectors to increase investments in West African cotton.

At the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, WTO’s director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emphasized the need to add more value to cotton produced in West Africa. She highlighted the importance of unleashing the sector’s potential for growth, development, and job creation.

The new brand, called Partenariat pour le Coton (Cotton Partnership), signifies a new phase in the partners' efforts to boost the cotton sector. It is hoped that this brand will encourage more investment and value addition in the C-4 countries.

Okonjo-Iweala pointed out the lack of cotton processing activity in the region, citing data that showed minimal exports of cotton thread and t-shirts compared to cotton lint exports. She also stressed that supporting cotton transformation in West Africa is not just about improving trade performance but also about enhancing economic opportunities and the lives of women and young people through sustainable production and processing.

The WTO and FIFA teamed up in September 2022 to explore ways of utilizing the cotton sector for developing countries. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the participation of Cotton Four (C4) and other least developed country (LDC) cotton producers in global football apparel value chains.

FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, emphasized FIFA’s commitment to using football to make a positive impact on people’s lives, especially in creating jobs, fighting poverty, and empowering women in these countries.

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