Events

Conference on Cotton – The Next Steps for Africa

October 26, 2006 // 8:30am6:30pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Africa Program
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The negotiations on cotton in the Doha Development Round have focused the world's attention on the plight of African cotton farmers, whose income and even food security have been affected by the low price of cotton. With the WTO talks at an impasse, not only is the outcome for cotton uncertain but the spotlight on cotton risks being diminished. It would be a pity to lose the momentum that has gathered around the cotton issue. WTO members agreed to the unusual step of dealing with cotton as a sectoral negotiation within the Agricultural negotiations and to forming a special Subcommittee on Cotton, which was given the mandate to address both trade and development aspects.

On the trade front, the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration called for a more ambitious, expeditious and specific treatment of cotton within the three pillars of the agricultural negotiations: export subsidies, market access and domestic support. Although more far reaching reforms in cotton than for agriculture in general are thus called for, the outcome is far from certain, in particular given the suspension of the talks. Moreover, African governments and the private sector have a role in boosting the competitiveness of African cotton so that producers can actually benefit from trade reforms. The WTO sectoral initiative has also rightly stressed the need for improved policy coherence between trade and development assistance, but has not yet clearly pointed the way on how to achieve such convergence. To help African producers take advantage of new market access opportunities, "aid for trade" specific to cotton should be debated.

The conference will cover trade and development, as well as African domestic policy and competitiveness issues.

Please join us for a discussion of the next steps for African cotton.

Conference Agenda

WE HAVE THE PLEASURE OF WELCOMING THE PARTICIPATION OF:

H.E. MR. YOUSSOUF ABBASSALAH,
MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY & CRAFT, CHAD;
H.E. MR. CHOGUEL KOKALA MAIGA,
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY & TRADE, MALI;
H.E. MR. MOUDJAÏDOU ISSIFOU SOUMANOU,
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY & TRADE, BENIN; AND
H.E. MR. BONOUDABA DABIRE,
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, BURKINA FASO.

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
COFFEE AND REGISTRATION

9:00 - 9:15 a.m.
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Robert Thompson, Gardner Chair in Agricultural Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and IPC member

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.
IMPORTANCE OF COTTON IN AFRICA

9:45 - 11:30 a.m.
TRADE ISSUES

Moderator: Robert Thompson, Gardner Chair in Agricultural Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and IPC member

Crawford Falconer, Chairperson of the WTO Agriculture Negotiations

Pedro de Camargo Neto, former Secretary of Production and Trade, Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, and IPC member

Dan Sumner, Director, University of California Agricultural Issues Center

Mark Lange, President, National Cotton Council

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
LUNCH

Crawford Falconer
Chairperson of the WTO agriculture negotiations

Florizelle Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, USTR

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
AFRICAN COMPETITIVENESS

Moderator: Sara Rogge, Senior Trade Policy Advisor, DATA

Gobind Nankani, Vice President, Africa Region, World Bank

Francois B. Traore, President, Association des Producteurs de Coton Africains (Aproca)

David Blackwell, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Global Procurement, Wal-Mart

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.
COFFEE BREAK

3:15 - 5:15 p.m.
ROLE OF DONORS

Moderator: Ambassador Tertius Zongo, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United States

Chiedu Osakwe, Doha Development Agenda Special Duties Division, World Trade Organization

Ambassador Samuel Amehou, Ambassador of Benin to Switzerland

Philippe Chedanne, Agence Française de Développement (AFD),

Mary Barton-Dock, Sector Manager, Agriculture, Environment and Social Development, West Africa, The World Bank

Hannele Tikkanen, Counselor (Trade), Delegation of the European Commission

Elena Bryan, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Capacity Building, USTR

5:15 - 6:00 p.m.
CONCLUSIONS

Nicolas Imboden, Executive Director, Ideas Center

Robert Thompson, Gardner Chair in Agricultural Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and IPC member

6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
RECEPTION AND CONVERSATION

 

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