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The four day Origin Africa Expo showcased African made products across the spectrum making it what organizers
said was one of the largest and most comprehensive trade events in Africa. Sixty exhibitors from Africa, India, China, and the West displayed a diverse array of products from industries like clothing, housing, and technology. Global experts met in Addis Ababa to work on fusing technology, academia and industry, to create a more competitive Africa in the marketplace.
Attendees were treated to more than just appliances, dresses and designs; they were also treated to a two night fashion show that featured some of Africa’s home grown beauty at the African Union Conference Center where thirty local and international designers demonstrated their creative touch. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi attended the official opening of the expo along with representatives from Ethiopian Textile and Garments and Manufacturing Association (ETGAMA), African Cotton and Textile Manufacturers Federation (ACTIF).
“Africa should brand products like textiles because they play a large role in development,” Fassil Taddesse, Chairman of Ethiopian Textile and Garments and Manufacturing Association, said.
Because of their potential for massive new jobs and profit, investors see textiles as one of the next big opportunities. Low wages, machines and export potential all lead to predictions that textiles will take off here.
“Ethiopia’s fast development, high population and rapid growth mean a huge potential for investment ,” stated Rajeev Arora, Executive Director of African Cotton and Textile Manufacturers Association.
ACTIF is a regional trade body formed in June 2005 in Nairobi by the cotton, textile and apparel sectors from across sub-Saharan Africa to create a unified and recognized voice in both regional and global trade affairs. The aim is to promote African cotton textile and apparel from farm to fashion. Brand Africa Origin Africa’s campaign is designed to help Africa make its mark in the fashion world by showing buyers the scope of its design, fabrics and manufacturing facilities. Membership of ACTIF currently includes the National Associations from 20 countries.
Origin Africa was organized by ACTIF and supported by USAID-COMPETE, UNECA, and the World Bank.