On the 21st – 23rd October 2015, African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) together with international event organizer Trade & Fairs East Africa (TFEA) organised ORIGIN AFRICA 2015 which hosted AFRICA SOURCING & FASHION WEEK (ASFW) 2015, at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Origin Africa 2015 was the largest Pan-African cotton, textile & apparel event in the region and sought to raise awareness of Africa as a place to source quality products and do business. The event highlighted the creativity and innovation of African cotton, textile and clothing industries, with a specific focus on business, trade and investment, both regionally and internationally, while capturing the spirit, style and innovation of modern Africa.
The Origin Africa Trade Expo, themed “changing perceptions, building synergies, doing business,” is an international trade fair dedicated to improving trade in African cotton, textile and apparel. Comprised of producers, designers, small businesses, exporters, buyers and retailers, Origin Africa works to develop, guide and promote African trade in cotton/textiles/apparel, home décor, fashion accessories and design. Many educated, talented and skilled African designers and entrepreneurs are quickly and indelibly creating change in their countries. Origin Africa matches their enthusiasm with experienced industry leaders to facilitate, coordinate and advance “trade, not aid” efforts while Origin Africa events continue to attract and invite the most innovative minds to attend.
The 3-day event saw 187 exhibitors from 26 countries with approximately 3,000 visitors in total and it encompassed a Trade Exhibition, Conference, B2B Meetings and a Fashion Designer exposition. Being an integral part of the expo, the Exhibition had a section for cotton fibre, textile & export ready apparel industries, machinery & technology, home textile & décor and a brand-new beauty and fashion section. Special B2B meetings were organised for buyers to meet procurement officers thus promoting a better understanding of their respective needs, wants and priorities, while investors had opportunities to discuss both local and foreign investments.
ACTIF, a regional federation formed in June 2005, aims to promote trade and increase market activity for cotton, textile and apparel industries in sub-Saharan Africa by creating a unified and recognized voice in both regional and global trade affairs. ACTIF is implementing a unique project aimed at building an ethical textile supply chain in East Africa. The project, rewarded by a TRAC grant in September 2014 also seeks to raise the profile of certified sustainable cotton among local textile & apparel producers, while linking them to target buyers in regional and international markets through an integrated supply chain which will also result in improved farm yields and greater profitability for cotton cultivators.