Job creation for youth in Burkina Faso and Mali

4 May 2017
ITC News
Joint ITC, EU project aims to boost job opportunities in fashion and design in West Africa

The European Union and the International Trade Center (ITC) have launched a €10 million project to support job creation in the fashion and design sectors in Burkina Faso and Mali. Funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the project targets young people and women, and on vocational training and the creation of small and microenterprises.

The project, implemented by ITC through its Ethical Fashion Initiative, will support the development of the textile and crafts sectors, including taking advantage of the unique Bogolan, Basilan and Indigo dyeing and printing techniques. By developing local capacities, the initiative will promote the sustainable export of this cultural wealth to international markets.

‘I am delighted to be launching this partnership with the EU, which will allow the Ethical Fashion Initiative to expand its activities,’ ITC Executive Director Arancha González said during a visit to Mali on 21-24 April. ‘It will create economic opportunities and jobs in the marginalized communities of Mali.’

Cultural heritage

Alain Holleville, the EU’s Ambassador to Mail, said: ‘This project responds to two important issues for the EU. First, economic recovery through the development of the Malian cotton sector. Second, the value-addition and safeguarding of Mali’s cultural heritage, to which we are strongly attached.’

The project aims to create up to 5,000 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs in the coming four years in Burkina Faso and Mali. notably through vocational training, support for social enterprises that respect fair labour standards and ensuring added value in handicraft sector.

Increased value-added cotton processing will generate employment opportunities for women and young people from marginalized communities while offering an attractive end product for the international fashion and design markets.