The second Pan-African Cotton Conference organised by the Cotton Expert House Africa (CHA) in cooperation with the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO) of Uganda was held in Kampala, Uganda at the Sheraton Hotel from the 1st to the 2nd of November 2018. The field-to-fashion producer Fine Spinners Uganda Ltd. and the Western Uganda Cotton Company (WUCC) also played an important role in the successful organisation of the conference. The two-day conference was preceded by a welcome gala dinner on the 31st of October 2018 and complemented by an excursion to Fine Spinners Uganda Ltd. on the 3rd of November 2018.
The objectives of the conference were to provide a platform for stakeholders in the African cotton sector to network, share information and experience with sustainable cotton production, and identify collaboration opportunities via the Cotton Expert House Africa. The conference facilitated classical expertise presentations, panel discussions and thematic group work sessions. Contributions covered current approaches and on-going developments in the regions of East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa more generally, with specific insights provided by the host country of Uganda.
The conference attracted a total of 155 delegates drawn from 20 different countries. International entities present at the conference included: German Development Cooperation (the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)) and Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT). Standard-setting organisations played an active role at the conference and were represented by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and Fairtrade Africa. Pan-African organisations, including the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF) and the Africa Cotton Association (ACA) were represented. Delegates comprised representatives from cotton farmers organisations, cotton companies, ginners and cotton exporters associations, cotton research institutions and government agencies.
The welcome dinner on the 31st of October 2018 was graced by Dr. Eng. Joshua Mutambi, Commissioner of Small and Medium Scale Industries at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Uganda, who represented Ambassador Julius Onen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Tourism & Cooperatives and Mrs Julia Kronberg, German Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy Kampala. The Pan-African Cotton Conference was officially opened on the 1st of November 2018 by Honourable Christopher Kibanzanga, Minister of State for Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries of Uganda. CHA would like to extend a special thanks to Mrs Jolly Sabune, Managing Director of CDO and Mr Ben Anyama, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CDO, for their contributions towards organising and participating in the conference. For more details, please take a look at our more elaborate workshop report.
Next year’s conference is scheduled to take place in the region of West and Central Africa. Information about the date and venue will be conveyed soon. The Cotton Expert House Africa looks forward to welcoming everyone at this time.
The second regional workshop for Western and Central Africa organized by the Cotton Expert House Africa (CHA) in conjunction with INTERCOTON was held at the Palm Club Hotel in Abidjan on from 26 to 27 July 2018.
The workshop aims were to discuss about sustainable cotton certification and verification, to share sector information and experience with sustainable cotton production, and to capture important developments, challenges and intervention needs from the stakeholders.
60 cotton stakeholders attended the two-day workshop, coming from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Togo and Germany. These attendees originated from cotton companies, government bodies, ginners associations, farmer organizations, research institutes like the University of Korhogo, non-governmental organizations, sustainable cotton standards and international development entities like GIZ.
During the workshop, lively discussions were held on the key topics of sustainable cotton standards as well as on the benefits of sustainable cotton production and ways to get there. Moreover, some companies reported on their experiences with co-financing projects with the Cotton Expert House Africa. In thematic and regional working groups and during the afternoon business-to-business sessions, participants had the opportunity to exchange on relevant subjects and to share this information with the Cotton Expert House Africa.
For more details, please take a look at our more elaborate workshop report and at the thematic workshop presentations which are available on our knowledge management platform from now on.
The second regional workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa organised by the Cotton Expert House Africa (CHA) in conjunction with the Cotton Board of Zambia (CBZ) and the Zambia Cotton Ginners Association (ZCGA) was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia from 30 to 31 May 2018. The objective of this workshop was to provide a platform for actors in the African cotton sector to network, share sector information and experience with sustainable cotton production, and identify collaboration opportunities with the Cotton Expert House Africa.
The two-day workshop attracted 55 cotton stakeholders from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Germany and the host country Zambia; mainly from cotton companies, government bodies, ginners associations, farmer organisations, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, sustainable cotton standards and international development entities like GIZ and the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The workshop was opened during a welcome dinner on 29 May 2018 by Mr. Stanislaus Chisakuta, Deputy Director of the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Dafulin Kaonga, Executive Director of the Cotton Board of Zambia, and Mr. Jan Sass, Managing Director of the Cotton Expert House Africa. In his opening remarks, the representative for the Zambian Minister for Agriculture especially emphasized the commitment of the Zambian Government to support the cotton sector from farm to cloth in order to create more job opportunities in the country.
During the workshop, lively discussions were held on the key topic of sustainable cotton standards and verification processes, especially with regard to information on standards such as CmiA and Organic. Moreover, some companies reported on their experiences with co-financing projects with the Cotton Expert House Africa. For more details, please take a look at our more elaborate workshop report.
In thematic and regional working groups and during the afternoon business-to-business sessions, participants had the opportunity to exchange on relevant topics and share this information with the Cotton Expert House Africa for follow-up.
The thematic workshop presentations are made available on our knowledge management platform.
“A sustainable basis for the global textile value chain” was the topic of this year’s first Pan-African Cotton Conference jointly hosted by the Cotton Expert House Africa and the Aid by Trade Foundation/ Cotton made in Africa from 08 to 11 November 2017 in Cotonou, Benin. The pan-African stakeholder conference, opened by S.E. Abdoulaye Bio Tchane – Minister of State/ Ministry of Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin – during the welcome dinner, offered ninety participants from more than twenty African cotton companies, international traders and retailers, donor organizations and NGOs the opportunity to exchange about sustainability in the African cotton sector.
During the first conference day organized by the Cotton Expert House Africa, the participants focused their attention on how to improve sustainable cotton production in the field. During the second conference day hosted by the Aid by Trade Foundation ways to push the marketing of CmiA-certified sustainable cotton along the international chain of custody was the central topic.
Mr. Jan Sass, managing director of the Cotton Expert House Africa, led through the first day of presentations and discussion rounds and gave an overview of the activities of the Cotton House and the way forward. A kick-off presentation by the GIZ COMPACI consultant Mr. Michael Jenrich on quantified benefits of extensions services and stronger focus on cost-profit and viability models for monitoring set the basis for the first day. Ralph Elsäßer, an international freelance ICT-expert, built on that and presented examples of how to use information and communication technology (ICT) for information sharing, contracting, input, plantation and pest management as well as for marketing and mobile payment in the cotton sector. In a panel discussion with Mr. Boaz Ogola from the Alliance Group Tanzania, Mr. Didier Vergereau from Geocoton West Africa and Mr. Carsten Friedland from SAP Germany, the panelists and the audience discussed the experience of different cotton companies with ICT-based systems. In the breakout sessions after lunch, Mr. Fahmy Omar from Silicon Valley Solutions (Kenya), Mr. Didier Vergereau from Geocoton and Mr. Carsten Friedland from SAP (Germany) presented their technical solutions for rural sourcing and information management in the cotton sector and other value chains. In parallel, the cotton expert Dr. Ben Sekamatte and the regional director for the Cotton Expert House Africa for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr. Tom Apina, presented findings from a C&A-funded bio pesticide project in Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia and introduced the concept of a common training center approach.
All presentations from the first conference day are available in English and French through the knowledge management platform of the Cotton Expert House Africa: Knowledge management platform.
To continue the tradition of an annual pan-African stakeholder conference in 2018, we would like to announce that next year the conference of the Cotton Expert House Africa will take place from 31 October to 03 November 2018 in Kampala, Uganda. The team of Cotton Expert House Africa is very much looking forward to seeing you all there!
If you would like to provide some feedback on this year’s event or suggest some topics of relevance for next year’s annual stakeholder conference, we much appreciate if you drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.