Increase Global Market Share

Posted by on mar 16, 2011 in Corporate News | 0 comments

The outlook is bright for Africa’s cotton, textile and apparel sector. The industry is undergoing a renaissance fueled by a global demand for cotton, diversification of sourcing and manufacturing locations around the world and an African middle class that is stimulating demand for African-made apparel. To capitalize on these trends, USAID East Africa’s Competitiveness and Trade Expansion (COMPETE) program is bringing industry buyers and designers together to share innovations in textile technology and showcase Africa’s fashion designers at Origin Africa Fiber to Fashion in Port Louis, Mauritius March 17-18. This event is organized with the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA), Enterprise Mauritius (EM) and the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF). Its aim is to strengthen business relationships and develop new trade opportunities for the hundreds of producers, traders and buyers who will attend the event.

Mookeshwarsing Gopal, chairman of MEXA, commented, “The need to generate demand in new emerging markets and drum up demand in our own markets has become critical for the African region. With the fading of the economic crisis and an increase in financial confidence, there is an urgent need for increased manpower and skilled workers.

Origin Africa Fiber to Fashion 2011 is divided into a Fiber to Fashion Symposium, a Pan-African Graphic Design Show and the Origin Africa Designer Showcase.

Symposium agenda items include Green/Eco-friendly manufacturing practices, New Product Development and Innovation in Cotton Fabric and Fiber, and Integrating Design and Marketing. The conference will wrap up with a Buyer/Sellers Platform led by USAID COMPETE’s Friends of Africa Apparel Advisory Board (business leaders in the US apparel sector who are committed to increasing trade with Africa).

The Pan-Africa Graphic Design Show taps into Africa’s new and exciting design talent. The competition asked designers to create compelling designs for the Africa of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The colorful prints and textures of African fabrics will be featured as up and coming designers show their collections in the Origin Africa Designer Showcase. This competition challenges designers to create collections with commercial appeal using locally sourced fabrics and facilities. Twelve designers representing countries from West, South, East Africa and the Indian Ocean and three fashion students from Mauritius will show their collections before a panel of international judges. Participation in the Origin Africa Designer Showcase gives international exposure to promising African design talent. The Designer Showcase winner will be flown to New York and featured at AFRICA Fashion Week New York in July 2011.

USAID COMPETE’s Origin Africa global awareness campaign is changing perceptions about doing business in Africa while USAID COMPETE’s East and Central Africa Trade Hub helps African businesses take advantage of preferential trade opportunities available under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Over the past two years the ECA Hub has facilitated nearly USD $35 million of exports in apparel, cut flowers, specialty foods and home decor/fashion accessories under AGOA.


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