The Aid by Trade Foundation and the African Cotton and Textiles Industries Federation, which since 2013 have worked to promote the sustainable cotton and textile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, have signed a strategic partnership to advance that cause.

The two organizations said they have set cooperative goals to increase productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of cotton production, and to strengthen the textile production in Africa.

“The Aid by Trade Foundation and its Cotton Made in Africa initiative is the most important program for sustainable cotton production in Africa,” said Jaswinder Bedi, chairman of ACTIF. “With the sustainable and certified Cotton Made in Africa cotton we can lay a reliable foundation for our business, which aims to build up an integrated textile value chain on the African continent suitable for the domestic, as well as international, textile market.”

With their cooperation, the groups said they will go a step further in their aim to strengthen Africa’s role within the cotton and textile sector worldwide. As more retailers and suppliers are pursuing the development of the textile market in Sub-Saharan Africa or are already moving parts of their production to the African continent — H&M, PVH, Tchibo or Bestseller — Aide by Trade and ACTIF said their cooperation can better respond to this increasing demand.

“We are pleased about the cooperation with ACTIF, which fits well with the optimism in the African textile sector,” said Tina Stridde, managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation. “Our partner is an expert and promoter of regionally and vertically integrated textile supply chains on the African continent. Together, we offer retailers and brands that are looking for sustainable and traceable textiles from Africa, a simple solution, from raw material to finished product.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth largest cotton exporter worldwide. Cotton is grown there by about 3.4 million smallholder farmers. A total of more than 20 million people in the region are directly or indirectly living from cotton.

Cotton Made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation that helps African smallholder cotton farmers in Africa to improve their living conditions. The mission of ACTIF is to promote trade and increase market access for the cotton, textile and apparel industry in Africa.

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