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Social and Environmental Compliance Gets Attention from the African Textile Industry

By:
May 28

The African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) was officially launched on April 27-28 in Nairobi, Kenya. Stuart Webster, WRAP’s Director of Training, was invited as a speaker by the Federation’s Chairman Mr. Jaswinder Bedi to attend the launch event.

Founded in 2005, the Federation is the first pan-African cotton organization which aims at transforming the cotton, textile and apparel sector’s unequal policies into consistent ones, both at domestic as well as international trade development levels. The Federation currently has 23 national cotton and textile trade associations from 18 African countries.

This event included the re-launch of its website and a fashion showcase featuring African designers. The Prime Minister of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga, the Vice Chairman of African Union, Mr. Pakalitha Mosisili, and COP of USAID and USAID-COMPETE attended the event as guest speakers.

“It was a privilege to attend the meeting sessions where I heard industry reports from the Federation and its member organizations.” Webster said, “Many speakers were truly inspirational. The hard work that the Federation has put into its textile industry is phenomenal.  The presence of Prime Ministers Odinga and Mosisili, and representatives from USAID, were clear indications of the importance of this event.”

In his 2.5-hour-presentation on April 28, Webster explained the importance of social and environmental compliance in today’s global trade environment, the requirements from the perspective of European, US and Australian buyers on CSR issues, an overview of the WRAP 12 principles, and requirements of WRAP certification. The presentation was well received with many positive comments. During the presentation, members of the Federation and participating facilities raised questions concerning the WRAP certification, including how to get WRAP certified and the benefits for a facility.

Over the past three years, WRAP has been working closely with International Labor Organization (ILO) in Africa to support social and environmental compliance in the local textile industry and promote Africa as a sourcing destination. WRAP has also been working with Cool Ideas, a WRAP accredited consultant in South Africa, to raise awareness of social and environmental compliance among local facilities.

Today, WRAP has 4 certified facilities in Ethiopia - Almeda Textile Private Limited Company, MAA Garment Factory, Addis Garment Sh. Co., and Novastar Garment Factory Incorporation N&N Garment.

“The work we started in Africa some time ago is now continuing in Kenya.” Webster said, “Factories in Kenya have demonstrated their interest in becoming certified to the WRAP standard, and many have already registered with our program.  We welcome the participation from all apparel, textile, furniture and food processing facilities across all of the African continent.”

To learn more about WRAP certification and training programs, please visit www.wrapcompliance.org.

 
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