Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 7 April 2017/ ACP: The President of Burkina Faso H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré committed to become a champion for the development of the cotton sector in Africa, rounding off a ‘Cotton Week’ full of activity jointly organised by the ACP Secretariat and the Government of Burkina Faso from the 27th – 31st March.

The week-long programme marked four years of the EU-Africa Cotton Programme which comes to a close this June 2017, and almost 13 years of the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton, financed under the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. The aim was to showcase positive results, lessons learnt as well as concrete outlooks for future support for developing the sector.

Under the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton, nearly 200 actions to support African cotton and its value chains have been implemented in 20 countries. The Cotton week featured high level conferences examining opportunities and challenges in the sector, including a session with the President of Faso, H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the 22nd COS-coton meeting, and the EU-Africa Cotton Programme Steering Committee meeting.

Practical workshops, training sessions for weavers and dyers, and a fashion show by African designers using African fabric were also held. Also running parallel to and in synergy with Cotton week was the second edition of the Dan Fani Fashion Week, an international exhibition of African Textile design.

“The objective of the EU-Africa Partnership on cotton is to contribute to the fight against poverty by improving the competitiveness, value added and viability of African cotton sectors for maximum impact on the income of producers. We are pleased and honoured that the President was receptive to our ambitions for the cotton value chains in Africa and the ACP call to be a champion for the future of the sector,” said ACP Assistant Secretary General in charge of Suatainable Economic Development and Trade Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou.

Discussions during Cotton Week gave rise to the validation of the Pan-Africa Cotton Roadmap, and underlined the ambitions for Africa to become the flagship continent driving sustainable textile transformation with high added value.

Conference participants also discussed the continuation of the EU-Africa Partnership through a new program on African cotton based on the regional structures, as a way of enhancing ownership. Research and innovation, governance of cotton value chains, local processing and integrating the regional dimension into cotton processing strategies were also key topics of focus.

Finally, the event highlighted need for strong political will to deepen regional markets, as well as diversified and complementary financial resources to meet needs and challenges.

(Photo: President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso is greeted by ACP Assistant Secretary General Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou during Cotton Week in Ouagadougou; ASG Gnassounou addresses high level conference on cotton, attended by the President of Faso)

– ACP Press


About the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton

The EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton was launched established to address the concerns raised by the fall of cotton prices during and beyond the 1990’s. This included price volatility, subsidy impact, exchange rate and the WTO negotiations on cotton. In addition to the trade component, the Partnership adopted a development component and an Action Framework implemented by the COS-Cotton.

With a total about of €26.8 million, the partnership includes two flagship programs. Firstly, the cotton component of the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Program, implemented between 2007-201, worth €15.8 million, which was then replaced from 2013-2016 by the €11 million Program to Support Consolidation of the Framework for Action of the EU-Africa Cotton Partnership (EU-Africa Cotton Program).

To learn more, visit www.coton-acp.org