The East African Community is once again hosting the second Business and Entrepreneurship Conference & Exhibition set to take place between November 14th and 16th in Dar es Salaam.

The conference will bring together investors from across the region to share best practices on how to create synergies and links between the local cotton and textile industries with local suppliers and fashion designers to make it more internationally competitive.

Lilian Awinja, the East African Business Council (EABC) CEO said early this week, “Value addition in the cotton and textile industry into innovative aesthetic accessories, interior designs and fashion can create more jobs opportunities in the East African Community as only 15% of EAC cotton is processed locally, while 85% is exported in form of lint to other countries.”

The plan is to propose an action plan outlining the policies and modalities to promote the sector performance, productivity and quality. The high export of cotton in form of lint to other countries can be turned in to a raw material base for textile and apparel manufacturing in the region.
Awinja empahsized that “As the region works on a phase out approach of imported second hand clothes, it is a high time that EAC countries embarked on manufacturing affordable, attractive, locally sourced, quality apparels”.
There is a tentative plan to phase out imports of second hand clothing and footwear across the region by 2019.