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LOGO OF THE
NEWS & RESEARCH FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
(#9 / 2019 - 2 April 2019)
www.africantextilesandapparel.com
 
Ethiopia's
Minimum Wage Research
IndustriAll Comments on Ethiopian Strikes - 13 days later!
H&M's South African Sourcing Plans Advance
 
NEWS
 
SOUTH AFRICA – H&M TO OPEN MORE STORES & SOURCE MANUFACTURED PRODUCT FROM SOUTH AFRICA, 27 March 2019
Global fashion retailer H&M has announced plans to open three new stores in South Africa in 2019. When the three new stores begin trading, H&M’s local workforce will increase from approximately 800 to over 900 employees across 26 South African stores, its distribution centre, and offices around the country.

H&M revealed that in addition to the expansions it is working on a "very exciting designer collaboration with a South African fashion designer", the details of which will soon be divulged. The retailer said it would soon start testing production in South Africa, and to this end they have employed a supply chain specialist in their South African organisation to drive this initiative forward - with the support of Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU), the government’s Economic Department Development (EDD), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
READ HERE >>

Comment
The central link in H&M’s South African garment sourcing foray is Minister Ebrahim Patel (EP) – who is the boss of the EDD, and thus also of the IDC … and, who is also the former SACTWU General Secretary. But why then is the responsible line Ministry - the South African Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) - not mentioned anywhere? I guess this shows, in some way, which South African government Ministry (or should I say Minister) is ultimately responsible for real textile and apparel policy formulation (and even implementation) in South Africa.

Now, why is H&M employing a “supply chain specialist” in South Africa? In my view not because it wanted to; or that it made good sense. It was happy to import clothes from elsewhere in the world. H&M did so because in early 2018 the company featured an advert of a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” etched on the front. The company was widely criticised for insensitivity. The retailer issued a public apology and hired a diversity leader to strengthen company sensitivities. It also undertook to source from South Africa as a “mea culpa”. A summary of the issue – as reported by Minister Patel to the South African parliament - can be
READ HERE >>.

So what is going to become of the H&M South African sourcing initiative? My guess. It will buy some garments from some of the higher-end manufacturers (perhaps even the SACTWU owned TCI Apparel (
SEE >>) may get the odd order); and the retail giant will buy a few garments from one or two local designers. Moreover, all of this will be accompanied by massive glossy photography advertising campaign around the designer(s) being supported and how “African” H&M is. It's possible that H&M has been “encouraged” to work with some of the designer-manufacturers that the IDC has backed – maybe Kala Lifestyle (owned by Chaz Ngaka); perhaps Shugaz Fashions (owned by Laduma Ngxokolo – SEE >>).

Many years ago I remember when South African apparel retailer Woolworths pulled a stunt of patriotism by saying that they supported local designers. Their stores were plastered with large photo's of the designers; I wonder if today they buy any product designed by them?

According to the 2018 H&M "Annual Report" – released on 29 March 2019 – H&M recorded the following net sales in South Africa - SEK842 (US$90.5m based on 23 stores as at end November 2018); as against 2017's SEK780m (US$83.9m from 17 stores).
READ HERE >> (see page 17). H&M sources products (not only garments) from Ethiopia (10 factories), Kenya (4), Morocco (7), Tunisia (3), and Rwanda and Uganda (one each)! SEE H&M FACTORY LIST >>
 
ETHIOPIA – PVH'S ANNUAL EARNINGS RESULTS, 27 March 2019
The PVH corporation has released its 4th quarter and full year earnings report for 2018. PVH has major garment sourcing operations in Ethiopia and in Kenya (and it also gets garments from Egypt, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius and Morocco). The 2018 results show that the company is still making losses in Ethiopia – small ones … but losses nonetheless.
 
The recently released financial results provide a little glimpse into how they are doing in Ethiopia because PVH has a 75% interest in a garment manufacturing facility that is located in the Hawassa Industrial Park – the remaining 25% of the shares are owned by India’s Arvind (SEE >>).

EXTRACT
PVH' ETHIOPIAN FACTORY
PVH CORPORATION 4TH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR EARNINGS FOR 2018 CONSOLIDATED GAAP INCOME STATEMENTS
(In US$ millions, except per share data)
 
Source: SEE >> (see page 19)

The PVH-Arvind partnership – via the PVH Arvind Manufacturing Private Limited Company - was established in June 2016; and operations at the joint venture manufacturing facility began in 2017. PVH states that the facility was established to “evolve” their supply chain and to “become more dynamic”. The goods produced at the plant are primarily distributed in the US by its Heritage Brands business (SEE >>). In their corporate statements, PVH has revealed that their facility in Hawassa leases about 14,400 square meters. READ HERE >>

Arvind Limited is a textile manufacturer and the flagship company of the Lalbhai Group. Its headquarters is in Naroda, India. In 2016 it had revenues of approximately US$750m. Interestingly an Arvind subsidiary – Arvind Envisol (SEE >>) – constructed and operates the massive industrial zero wastewater treatment plant in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Estate - the flagship "eco-park". Apparently, post its Hawassa “success”, Envisol has begun work on 12 additional Ethiopian water treatment projects at Kilinto, Dire Dawa and Adama, etc. as a consequnce of Memorandum of Understanding it concluded with the Government of Ethiopia in 2017. READ HERE >>

Comment
I think Mark Green’s and Bill McRaith’s (PVH supply chain executives) Ethiopian bet will come off. Too many resources have been ploughed into the project for it to fail. At the end of March 2018, PVH had six manufacturing vendors – including its 75% partially owned facility.

However … I think it's clear that the Ethiopian sourcing project has not proceeded at the pace that PVH planned it would in a best-case scenario. Ethiopian garment exports must be way behind the planned schedule.

Major inhibitors must have included: a failure to correctly understand the levels of workers' skills and hence firm productivity, poor import and export logistics, and inadequate supplies of water and power utilities.

The country’s uncertain politics must surely have weighed them down too. There were two states of emergency before Abiy Ahmed came to power (in April 2018) that must have negatively impacted upon production and export. Ethiopia’s fractional regional/ethnic politics must be a continuing worry. I gues that they may also be concerned as to what trade preferences will replace the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) that are set to expire in September 2025.

I suspect that during the latter half of 2019, and certainly in 2020, international labour rights groups and environmental groups will get their teeth firmly stuck into Ethiopia’s textile, apparel, leather and footwear manufacturing industry. PVH (and H&M) will be the clear targets. The worker aligned support groupings will increasingly profile the low wages paid, the poor working conditions, and the fact that union rights are being eroded. Its possible that environmental groups may want to open up some issues related to the substantial greenwashing.
-----------------------------------------

Further Comment
I ask the question again:
"INTO WHICH PROPERLY DESIGNED AND MANAGED SOLID WASTE LANDFILL IS THE TOXIC WASTE RESIDUES FROM THE HAWASSA INDUSTRIAL WASTE WATER PROCESSING FACILITY BEING DUMPED?"
Will this be discussed at the "8th International Sustainable Industrial Areas Conference" which will be held in Addis Ababa between 8-10 April 2019? SEE >>


SOUTH AFRICA / ZIMBABWE – EDGARS’ EDCON DEAL, 26 March 2019
Edgars Stores (Zimbabwe SEE >>) has finalised its acquisition of intellectual property (IP) rights to the Jet and Edgars trademarks and brands for the territory of Zimbabwe. The listed apparel retailer had earlier announced that shareholders had approved the deal in an extraordinary general meeting in January. The company had been operating the brands under a franchise agreement, in which it paid annual franchise fees calculated as a percentage of its revenue. The purchase price for the IP was US$1,5m. Edgars and EDCON agreed to settle the purchase consideration through the issue of 15m ordinary shares. Following the transaction, EDCON’s shareholding in Edgars Stores increased from 39% to 42%. READ HERE >>


SOUTH AFRICA – EDCON SALES DOMINATE BABY/CHILDREN MARKET, 31 March 2019
For more than a decade a dark cloud has hung over the prospects of Africa's biggest fashion retailer, Edgars, because of suffocating debt levels and sluggish sales that have dogged big-box department stores. Though many turnaround strategies that have been touted, one segment of its business has remained resilient - it's baby- and childrenswear offering.

Euromonitor International data shows that EDCON, which owns the Edgars and Jet chains, remains the frontrunner in this R26.3bn (US$1.8bn) South African market segment. Edgars has outperformed rival retailers Woolworths, Mr Price and Pepkor by a long way, claiming 12.5% of market share. READ HERE >>

Comment
I wonder how much EDCON is being out-performed in other retail categories of apparel products by competing clothing retailers?


SOUTH AFRICA – ALLEGED TEXTILE & APPAREL SMUGGLER’S ASSETS SEIZED, 29 March 2019
Officials from the sheriff of the High Court in Pretoria have attached the assets at five properties belonging to controversial Zuma-linked Taiwanese businessman and ANC benefactor Jen-Chih "Robert" Huang and his wife. This, as the South African Revenue Service (
SARS) attempts to recover R236m (US$1.66m), a portion of a long-outstanding debt to the taxman, reportedly running into the billions. The judgments are only for personal income tax owed by the Huangs. READ HERE >>

Comment
Some years back it was revealed that part of the ANC’s supply chain of political t-shirts included garments made in China (the ANC is a very patriotic party when it comes to political parphernalia). Some of these garments were supplied by Jen Chih “Robert” Huang. Huang has links with former President Zuma’s family.

It was widely reported that SARS detained a multi-million Rand consignment of ANC campaign t-shirts organised by Huang before the country’s April 2014 general election – and that this was one of the factors that fed into the leadership purge of SARS. Journalist sources say that Huang's t-shirt consignment was stopped on entry into the country pending the payment of duties and taxes – which apparently the importer did not want to pay. READ HERE >>

Huang owns “Mpisi Trading 74”, which reportedly is a massive textile and apparel focussed clearing agency based in Johannesburg. It has been reported that it owes South Africa’s tax collection agency more than R3bn (US$204m). More information can be SEEN HERE >> and SEE HERE >>.

If the state proceeds against Huang and Mpisi Trading and he
decides to cut a deal, I suspect that there may be many South African apparel retailers and their current and former executives that many may have a little panic. Of course, no doubt some retailer defences will be “we were not involved ... we only got goods through sourcing intermediaries” – but they know that the price of the goods must have been too good to be true (typical South African Most Favoured Nation (MFN) duties for clothing is 45% ad valorem; and for fabrics 22% ad valorem).


ZAMBIA – MULUNGUSHI TEXTILES TO BE REOPENED, 31 March 2019
President Edgar Lungu says talks with the Chinese government through its embassy and his administration over the re-opening of the Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles have advanced. READ HERE >>

Comment
Revitalisation - again! Resurrecting Mulungushi Textiles appears to be a national pastime in Zambia - especially when it comes to election time. Of course, reopening this plant will mean scrapping all machinery that may remain in the plant as it is obsolete and dilapidated. It may also mean finding a reliable supplier of cost effective (i.e. non-generator based) electricity.

What is it with some governments - they think that since there was a textile or garment facility in a particular premise decades ago that that premise should always manufacture textiles or apparel?

Tanzania’s METL Group (SEE >>) was given a 12-year lease to revitalise Mulungushi Textiles in mid-2014 – but the deal quickly went pear-shaped, and they were booted out. I guess that it was METL’s plan to merely use the plant premises to print imported fabrics – fabrics most probably imported from two METL operations in Tanzania – 21st Century Textiles (located in Morogoro) and Afritex (which used to operate in the port city of Tanga).

For more on Mulungushi Textiles READ HERE FOR A 2017 THESIS >> and READ HERE FOR A 2012 REPORT >>.


KENYA – RIVATEX WANTS TO BUY COTTON – BUT THERE IS A CATCH, 12 March 2019
Rivatex (SEE >>) wants a company to supply and delivery cotton to it. However, to be eligible
the firm doing so must be a "ginner" and it must have a joint venture with a “registered Kenyan firm”. READ HERE >> (see page 21).

Comment
Cotton must be procured via a "joint venture" – well that is patriotic. However, does it make any sense? This could put up the price of finished products coming out of this mill. I wonder what the Indian financiers of the massive technological upgrade of the Rivatex mill think about this?


KENYA – ALL GOVERNMENT UNIFORMS TO BE MADE IN KENYA, 25 March 2019
All government agencies will now be required to procure their uniforms from a plant at the National Youth Service (SEE >>) headquarters in Nairobi. Interior Cabinet Secretary issued the order on Monday during an inspection tour of the progress of the production of police uniforms at the plant. READ HERE >>

Comment
I wonder how long it will be before the NYS merely becomes the conduit through which many imported uniforms are procured for the Kenyan state?


ETHIOPIA – A GLOBAL UNION'S TAKE ON HAWASSA STRIKES, 26 MARCH 2019
With no commitment towards addressing their grievances, thousands of textile and garment workers at Ethiopia’s most significant industrial park, Hawassa, went on strike 13-15 March 2019 demanding that the employers act on sexual harassment, improve health and safety, and increase wages. IndustriAll affiliate, the Industrial Federation of Textile, Leather & Garment Workers’ Union (
IFTLGWTU), says that the strike is the result of unions being denied access to organise in the park. The IFTLGWTU’s organising and industrial relations department head stated that the recent strike was not a surprise – with no unions representing workers, low wages and bad working conditions are prevalent. READ HERE >>

Comment
The thing that strikes me with this press statement is that it was released by IndustriAll about 13 days after the Hawassa strikes had begun. WTF! This is bizarre … and perhaps a little pointless … for issuing a statement when workers were actually on strike may have helped these workers.

What is more surprising is that the IndustriAll statement did not mention the apparel brands and retailers that the strikers probably worked for – and most know the Hawassa Industrial Park is that it is home base of PVH and H&M East African sourcing.

I guess that IndustriAll must be aware that its affiliate in Ethiopia is profoundly weak - and they must have known it for some time!

I understand that even the ILO’s Ethiopia Betterwork programme (SEE >>) – which has just started programme operations in Ethiopia – has recognised that the unions active in the country's textile and apparel industry are weak. Rumour has it that the ILO’s Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV – SEE >>) has received a call for an intervention! The ILO programme is, for sure, going to help build organisation top-down! It will also most probably only concentrate on the Betterwork programme areas.

If ACTRAV is getting involved it is a sad indictment on IndustriAll - what have they been doing all these years when Ethiopia' was becoming the attractive low wage cost destination that it is? To me, and from a distance, it looks like perhaps too much time may have been spent on high-level engagements (à la the Neil Kearney way) – and not enough focused effort on supporting the development … from the bottom-up … of democratic and robust affiliate organisation. As I have said before the odd seminar, nor a press release that records history, is really not going to cut it.


ETHIOPIA – TRANSPORT COSTS, 26 MARCH 2019
According to
a Moody’s report, Ethiopia’s growth should stabilise around 8% in the coming year's thanks to infrastructure investments. In the report, the rating agency indicates that the East African country’s growth has been primarily spurred by infrastructure investments, which recorded an average of 10% rise between 2009 and 2018. The infrastructure investments that they highlight are the investments in the road network, the Ethiopia-Djibouti rail line (which they say should reduce transport costs by 50% and the overall transaction costs by about 20%), and the Grand Renaissance Dam. They note that these investments would also support a rising industrial sector, boosted by the government’ strategy to transform Ethiopia into one of Africa’s industrial poles, based on the textile industry. READ HERE >>


MAURITIUS - MIGRANT WORKER RIGHTS, 23 March 2019
A pamphlet entitled “Know Your Rights” aiming at sensitising migrant workers of their rights, has been launched by the Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms. The pamphlet aims to inform migrant workers of their rights, the possible remedial actions to be taken in case of violations, and also to sensitise them about the dangers of human trafficking. The pamphlets, which have been printed in English, Bangla, Hindi, Mandarin, Tamil and French, will be distributed to the economic industries employing migrant workers. Presently there are around 42,800 migrant workers, hailing from India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Madagascar, who are mainly engaged in the textile industry, the construction sector and in the services sector. READ HERE >>


MOZAMBIQUE – CYCLONE IDAI & COTTON PRODUCTION, Mid-March 2019
In mid-March, a cyclone ripped into central Mozambique – and then into parts of Zimbabwe and Malawi. It has caused untold human suffering – hundreds have died; thousands have been injured; large numbers of homes have been destroyed or severely damaged. Crops (food and livelihoods) have been lost.

The question is: to what extent has this cyclone impacted upon the lives of Mozambique’s cotton farmers and their crops?

In Mozambique, the planting of cotton generally occurs from October onwards; while harvest the harvest can occur from May onwards. Cotton is vital for livelihoods – it has been estimated that it provides cash incomes for more than 1.5m rural citizens, representing between 52 to 83% of their household’s income. It has been stated that it provides about 20,000 job opportunities along the value chain.

The cotton sector in Mozambique is organised into a concessionary system whereas the private companies are given exclusive rights to run a cotton concession area. Each company is assigned an exclusive geographical area in which they promote cotton production, supply all inputs on credit and purchase seed cotton by the end of the growing season. It's likely that some of these concession areas will have been more harshly affected than others. READ HERE >>



ZIMBABWE – DRY SPELL AFFECTS SOME COTTON FARMERS, 26 March 2019
Cotton farmers in the M'idlands district of Gokwe have given up hope of any harvest after a brutal mid-season dry spell that wreaked their crops putting paid to a planned resuscitation of the production of white gold. Villagers of Gokwe North and the Nembudziya area have accepted that their season is over. Most of the rural residents are now struggling to find water for domestic use and provide for their domestic animals after most of the rivers and boreholes dried up. READ HERE >>


TANZANIA – COTTON INPUT DISTRIBUTION, 25 March 2019
The Tanzania Cotton Board has, in the Singida Region, distributed 160,000 bottles of pesticides to farmers in the area to combat insects. READ HERE >>


EGYPT – TEXTILE CITY CONCERNS, 26 March 2019
Experts in Egypt's textile industry have concerns that the establishment of the largest Chinese textile city in the country — known as Mankai Textile Industrial Park — will divert the government's attention from supporting the loss-making local textile industry and from helping it gain competitiveness in the international market. READ HERE >>


ZIMBABWE
DAVID WHITEHEAD MONEY UNACCOUNTED FOR, 25 March 2019

According to a Zimbabwean Member of Parliament the revival of operations at David Whitehead Textiles is in limbo after the judicial manager failed to account for the US$2m bailout the ailing firm received from the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO). In 2018 ZAMCO advanced US$2m to the firm for the resuscitation of operations.

The MP also observed that despite all the government support given to the cotton industry - such as taking over the US$68m debt of the Zimbabwean Cotton Company (COTTCO); and giving free cotton inputs to farmers totalling US$130m – that this had not helped in reviving David Whitehead Textiles. Apparently, the value of David Whitehead is about US$15m, but its liabilities are US$20m. READ HERE >>

MP ACCUSATIONS FALSE, 26 March 2019
David Whitehead Textiles has dismissed claims by Chegutu West Member of Parliament that the company had failed to account for a US$2m facility extended by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2018. It said that at no point were the funds directly handled by the management. “The facility funds were paid directly to the suppliers of goods and services for the procurement of raw materials, electricity, wages and importation of critical spares. The funds were not deposited into the DWTL account”. READ HERE >>

Note: David Whitehead Textiles Limited was placed under provisional judicial management in December 2010 before confirmation of the final order in March 2015. It was delisted 2009 following the acquisition of a controlling stake by Elgate Holdings, which has since been rescinded. The company used to produce 20 million meters of fabric per year while directly employing 3,000 workers.


ZIMBABWE – COTTON EXECS SUSPENDED, 28 March 2019
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) has suspended two senior managers after they engaged Chimurenga music icon Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo to perform the company’s jingles after the musician allegedly passed derogatory comments about Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri. READ HERE >>

Comment
"When the going gets weired - the weired turn Pro!"


SOUTH AFRICA - DTI CHIEF DIRECTOR FOR TEXTILES & APPAREL RETIRES, 31 March 2019
This week the South African Department for Trade & Industries' Chief Director for textiles, apparel, footwear and leather retired from government service.

Comment
Many industry stakeholders will breath a sigh of relief - even though many of them most probably were polite enough to offered him some kind words when he left. My observation is that his departure is a good thing - long overdue. I hope the DTI finds a more skilled and motivated replacement.
 
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RESEARCH

Towards a National Minimum Wage in Ethiopia: An Exploratory Study”. Alemayehu Geda. Study conducted for the ILO Ethiopia Country Office in Addis Ababa (with financial support from the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (SIDA) and H&M). February 2018.

Policy Implications From the Research: The analysis in this study shows that the condition of the working poor in Ethiopia is severe and it is high time the government gives priority to the issue of fixing a minimum wage in Ethiopia. Towards that end, the government could:
  • work towards setting up a minimum wage in Ethiopia. A close look at the level of income enabling workers and their families to be lifted out of poverty is a necessary exercise. The minimum wage design has to be also simple to avoid potential compliance problems. Setting up a minimum wage for public sector workers so that they could earn above the poverty line is not a major issue from a budget (and the related issue of inflationary pressure) perspective. This may not also be a significant issue for both public and private enterprises since the relative share of profits in their total income is significant.
  • set up a wage council made of tri-partite parties: employers, employees, government (and perhaps technical experts) and mandate them to come up with a minimum wage framework and level. The committee will need in particular to work on the issue of compliance ahead of time and design the minimum wage policy with a view to avoid the potential problem of compliance.
  • examine the experience of comparable countries such as Kenya which is reviewed in detail in this study, in designing its policy. This will allow the government to anticipate potential problems and address them at the design stage.
  • finally, although macroeconomic stability is the sure way to make the minimum wage meaningful in real terms, the minimum wage policy needs to anticipate how to adjust the levels periodically. Inflation should be a parameter to take into account as inflation is found to be a major hurdle for workers in Ethiopia.

NOTE: The paper the "African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor" have obtained is designated as a “DRAFT” – but it's clearly an ADVANCED draft of the report. The report has been subjected to comment by the ILO; it also has some language editing (but not final), then laid-out, together with a cover that would not in my view typically be associated with a very rough draft paper.


THE AUTHOR OF THE REPORT IS CLEARLY FRUSTRATED - HE HAS STATED:
"This project is completed. I have really learned a lot. The ILO still did not use it. I believe it could be used for activism for minimum wage as I found about more than 70% of workers in Ethiopia (both in the public and private sectors) are the working poor if international poverty line is used. Maybe I will contact Eth Trade Union, if the ILO can't use it quickly and effectively." Source: ResearchGate


HOWEVER THE QUESTION(S) STILL REMAINS
Has this research been rejected? I suspect so. If “yes” a number of questions arise:
  • why was this research rejected? - who was responsible for it being rejected? Government? Employers? World Bank/IMF? Unions?
  • what now? What will the Ethiopian government do? What will Ethiopia’s trade union movement do? What will the apparel brands and retailers that source garments from Ethiopia do?
 
DATA

KENYAN APPAREL EXPORTS TO THE EU AND US
2014 - 2018
Comment
Its possible that the European Union (EU) thinks its trade preferences extended to many sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) states are great. Maybe they are; maybe they are not. The US' African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) preferences are worth a lot more - simply because US most favoured nation (MFN) tariffs are much higher. Hardly the fault of an EU technocrat!

For apparel, in reality it is only Mauritius and Madagascar that export significant volumes of garments to Europe ... and then, for these two exporters, its mainly to France.

If the EU was really serious they should put in place some export development programmes that would focus on introducing SSA apparel exporters to EU apparel retailers and brands. The United States has put in place some serious export support programmes which have worked - even under the administration of Donald J Trump!

TOP 15 KENYAN APPAREL EXPORTS TO THE US
2016 - 2018 (in US$)
SOURCE: USITC Dataweb
 
SNIPPETS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
BANGLADESH ACCORD ON FIRE AND BUILDING SAFETY, 29 March 2019
On 7 April 2019, Bangladesh’s Appellate Court will decide whether the “Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety” will be forced to leave the country. The "Accord" is in negotiations with the government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA). Apparently, 190 global investors representing more than a trillion US dollars in assets called on the BGMEA to negotiate for an extension of the "Accord" in the country.
Source:
International Labour Rights Forum


UN SUSTAINABLE FASHION INITIATIVE LAUNCH, 26 March 2019
The United Nations’ Alliance for Sustainable Fashion is an initiative of UN agencies and allied organisations designed to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through coordinated action in the fashion sector. Specifically, the Alliance works to support coordination between UN bodies working in fashion and promoting projects and policies that ensure that the fashion value chain contributes to the achievement of the SDG's targets. Through the Alliance, the UN commits to changing the path of fashion, reducing its negative environmental and social impacts; and turning fashion into a driver of the implementation of the SGD. Source: United Nations

Comment
Yawn!!! I wonder how long this one will last! I have signed-up for their newsletter notifications. I wonder when I will receive the first one! I wonder how long after that I will receive the last one – or will the first one be the last one. No doubt this initiatives’ leadership will burn vast amounts of carbon flying to attend important profile events around the world forever and a day to bang their sustainability drum! I will keep you posted ... but don't hold your breath!
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
SO WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE
AFRICAN COTTON & TEXTILE INDUSTRIES FEDERATION
(ACTIF)
"ORIGIN AFRICA" TRADE SHOW AS NO DATES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED?
IS IT TRUE THAT THEY WILL HAVE A THREE YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH "DESTINATION AFRICA"?
  • Intertex Tunisia - Trade Show - 4-6 April 2019. Tunis, Tunisia. For more information: www.intertextunisia.com
  • 8th International Sustainable Industrial Areas - Conference - 8-10 April 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.siaconference.com
  • Source Africa - Trade Show - 12-14 June 2019. Cape Town, South Africa. For more information: www.sourceafrica.co.za
  • Premiertex Africa 2019 - Trade Show - 18-20 June 2019. Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: www.premiertex-africa.com
  • Destination Africa - Trade Show - 9-11 November 2019. Cairo, Egypt. For more information: www.destination-africa.org
  • Africa Sourcing & Fashion Week (ASFW) - Trade Show - 9-12 November 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.asfw-online.com
  • International Textile Machinery Exhibition - Africa - Trade Show - 14-16 February 2020. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.itme-africa.com
 
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about Mark Bennett - Editor

"The African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor"
I have almost 30 years' experience working in Africa's cotton, textiles and apparel value chain. Initially I was, for 15 years, a sector trade unionist in South Africa; then, from 2004 onwards, I worked as a development consultant for various Southern / Eastern African governments, and domestic private sectors. In my development activities I have been engaged by private sector foundations, and by DFID and USAID funded contractors. I find it rewarding creating development interventions that help cotton, textiles and apparel stakeholders to better processes, improve productivity, increase sales and add investment. See my full CV at Devex or LinkedIn.
 
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