African Cotton Conference in Benin
“A sustainable basis for the global textile value chain” was the topic of this year’s African Cotton Conference jointly hosted by the Cotton Expert House Africa and the Aid by Trade Foundation/Cotton made in Africa on 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: Link.
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 31.10.-03.11.2018 in Kampala/Uganda. The team of the Cotton Expert House Africa House 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: