Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Africa is attracting the world’s textile and apparel industry due to cheap labor power and raw material.
Speaking at the official opening of a trade expo “Origin Africa 2012-Ethiopia” in Addis Ababa on Wednesday Meles said Africa has natural resources and cheap labor, which enable it to do the work required in the industry.
He said as infrastructure is necessary to make any business profitable, priority must be given for the development of the sector in the continent.
Meles said Ethiopia has recognized infrastructure development whether in transportation, telecommunication and electricity as priority and is working towards realizing it.
The trade expo is organized to raise awareness about Africa as a sourcing destination and change perceptions about doing business in Africa, targeting a global audience of buyers, business leaders and designers.
Origin Africa 2012-Ethiopia will highlight the creativity and innovation of the African cotton, textile and clothing industries, and raise the profile of the continent as a source of supply of cotton, textile products, fabrics and clothing.
This will bring together business leaders and decision makers from 20 countries across Africa, providing opportunities for international buyers to establish contacts with African designers and industry, and to do business.
The Expo’ s main objective is to put Africa on the map as a preferred place to do business in the international textile and apparel industry, according to the organizers.
In its third year, Origin Africa 2012 Ethiopia features one of the largest and most comprehensive trade expos in Africa, with more than 60 exhibitors from Africa, the U.S., Europe, India and China covering the entire fiber/textile/apparel supply chain as well as the home decor and fashion accessories sector.
The Trade Expo is complemented by a world-class seminar series as well as the Origin Africa Designer Showcase, which features the best in African design talent.
The Origin Africa Designer Showcase, is to be held over two nights: April 24 and April 25.
The Designer Showcase continues to gain global prestige and it will recognize top designers by awarding 3 prizes: the US Retailers Award, from OneStopPlus.com complete with a commercial supply contract; the Origin Africa Award, with participation at Africa Fashion Week New York; and the Ethical Fashion Award from Messe Frankfurt France, with participation at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris.
African Cotton and Textile Manufacturers Federation (ACTIF) organized the 4-day event being held at the Sheraton Addis partnered with the Ethiopian Textile and Garments and Manufacturing Association (ETGAMA) and the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI).
ACTIF is a regional trade body formed in June 2005 by the cotton, textile and apparel sectors from across sub-Saharan Africa to create a unified and recognized voice in regional and global trade fairs.
Currently, ACTIF has 38 member national associations from 20 African countries representing the cotton, textile and apparel value chain of the continent.