EU-Africa Business Forum wants action for sustainable garment sector

The 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022, jointly organised by the African Union (AU) Commission, the European Union (EU) and European business organisations recently, launched the Joint EU Africa Business Declaration to influence policymaking and business activities, and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future.
The Declaration calls for setting up an ‘EU-Africa Apparel and Ethical Fashion Fund’ for technology transfer and environmental, social and governance (ESG) support for capacity building and partnerships enhancement among value chain actors to advance compliance with ESG standards.

It calls for technology and knowledge transfer, and harnessing the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for traceability of sustainability performance and credentials, for small and vulnerable actors.

It also calls for supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in an overall green transition to sustainable value and supply chains, for those not yet ready, by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers according to an official release.

There is also a clause to set up textile industry hubs across Africa based on the experience by the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF) and formulate business incentives in the form of tariffs, access to finance and trade facilitation.

Textile-apparel is a fast-growing industry in several African countries. In fact, the apparel and footwear industry in Sub-Saharan Africa amounts to $31 billion and is expected to grow at 5 per cent until 2024. Currently, the African continent is responsible for 5.8 per cent of the world’s cotton production and employs more than 450,000 people.

The event brought together more than 15,000 experts, government representatives, international organisations and stakeholders.

Original story on Fibre2Fashion

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