BY BETELHEM BEDLU
ADDIS ABABA- Africa has become conducive environment for doing business both for domestic and international investors especially the Diasporas who are bringing home skills, knowledge, and technology to the continent in textile and garment sector.
Opening the 8th Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW), Trade Industry Minister Melaku Alebel said yesterday that fashion weeks like ASFW are important to foster linkage, cooperation and unity among the partners with the ultimate goal of promoting both local and international investors.
He reminded that a national movement ‘Ethiopia Tamirt movement’ which stands for let Ethiopia Produce has been launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2021 to ensure collaboration in manufacturing sector.
Moreover, the government attaches great importance to the African Sourcing Fashion Week as it brings together fashion designers, manufacturers, buyers, sector specialist and policy makers to promote African textile industry, as to him.
He also stated that the week is important as it strengthen existing market linkages and new investment and market opportunities. With the combined efforts of the private sector and African governments, African manufacturing sector will take advantage of the opportunity of the local market. The African free trade area agreement, in this regard, offers an enormous opportunity that Africans need to take leadership of, as to him.
Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association Secretary General Agazi Hailemariam stated that ASFW has become Africa’s largest textile trade event where manufacturers, international buyers and investors meet together to raise awareness of Africa as investment and sourcing destination,
Thus, he stressed it is time for Africa to explore potential business opportunities, develop regional textile supply chain and boost the intra-Africa trade through AfCFTA and utilizing the best out of it.
UNIDO’s Representative and Director of the Regional Hub in Ethiopia, Aurelia Patrizia, said the platform serves to attract buyers, investors, wholesalers and retailers from around the world. She said it is also an important show where Ethiopian and Africans offers best products, and promote business investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector.
“The notion of brining key actor together can boost intra-Africa trade and investment and grow local business, create jobs and enhance industrialization. Trade and investment will boost local production entrepreneurs’ international competitiveness through technology transfer”.
Tourism Minister Nasise Challi on her part mentioned that the manufacturing industry has long been the largest employers and accounts a significant share of the world economy. Ethiopia has a tradition of producing handmade textiles such as Gabi, Netela, Kuta and traditional Kemis, which are key traditional clothes that are worn throughout Ethiopia.
These cultural assets have significant implication for tourism and represent the intangible traditions of the nation which needs to be nurtured. The event serves as one of key outlets to promote and market our cultural wealth. Thus, we need to put light to the indigenous textile production, design skill, supply aspect and promote them as tourism attraction thereby enhance economic growth, she underlined.
The Ethiopian Herald November 5/2022