On the initiative of the ‘Cotton-4’ countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali – the World Trade Organization is hosting the launch of World Cotton Day on 7 October 2019. The WTO Secretariat is organizing the event in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). The Cotton-4 countries have applied to the United Nations General Assembly for the official recognition of a World Cotton Day, reflecting the importance of cotton as a global commodity.
• Give exposure and recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in production, transformation and trade;
• Engage donors and beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton;
• Seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for the cotton-related industries and production in developing countries; and
• Promote technological advances, as well as further research and development on cotton.
On World Cotton Day, together with UNCTAD, ITC will host a side event on value addition in the cotton sector. In this session, experts will share success stories and perspectives on how African countries can reimagine the cotton-to-clothing value chain and capitalize on cotton by-products at the same time as making cotton more profitable for farmers.
ITC supports World Cotton Day as an important opportunity to celebrate the contribution of cotton stakeholders to economic development. We will highlight the importance of creating value at origin, including encouraging those that farm and produce cotton to add value by making garments and other cotton goods.
To mark World Cotton Day in style, we are also organizing a fashion event featuring the creativity of African designers.
Our projects in the cotton sector include the Ethical Fashion Initiative in Burkina Faso and Mali and backing for value addition under the Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) programme for Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Past projects include trade promotion and value addition for selected countries in Africa, as well as the development and implementation of cotton-clothing-sector strategies for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the West African Monetary and Economic Union (known by its French acronym UEMOA) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Register for the WTO-hosted World Cotton Day event here. Please note that registration will close on 20 September 2019. Onsite registrations will not be permitted.