Matthijs Crietee, Secretary General of the IAF, participated in a panel discussion at Origin Africa about the effect of political uncertainty on the apparel industry. He highlighted the importance for business of predictability of trade policy.
Especially in times of political uncertainty caused by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President, it is important for apparel companies to ensure that their associations have well developed international networks. The apparel industry must continue to make clear on a global level in a coordinated way what policies it needs. He also highlighted the importance of trade regulations that facilitate regional trade. This holds especially true in Africa, where developing industries are importing raw materials from neighboring countries.
IAF’s African member, Actif Africa, was the organizer of the Origin Africa fair and conference held in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The Fair brought together apparel manufacturers from, among other countries, Madagascar, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Mauritius. The participation of three Ethiopian companies in the Fair, namely, Desta, GMM and Almeda, was facilitated by the EU-ACP funded project carried out by the IAF and Actif.
Origin Africa is turning into the main Subsaharan African apparel event. This was highlighted by the presence of Mrs. Florizelle Liser, as Assistant Trade Representative for Africa, the highest ranking US government official responsible for trade relations between the US and the continent of Africa.