From Nov. 5th to Nov. 7th, 2021 Sino-Africa International Symposium on Textiles and Apparel (SAISTA) & Sino-Africa Cultural Exchange Forum (SACEF) was hosted jointly by Donghua University, China and Moi University, Kenya. Starting from 2015, SAISTA was held alternatively between China and African countries, and it is the seventh session this year. More than 70 professionals from over 20 universitiesincluding Oxford University, Moi University and Bahir Dar University,participated the online conference.
Riccardo Savigliano, on behalf of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, put in his remark for 2021 SAISTA that the textile and apparel industry plays a key role in Africa’s social and economic development, providing high levels of employment, foreign exchange revenue and products essential to human welfare, thus countries building back after COVID-19 should not ignore the textile and apparel industry as it can create jobs and spur further industrialization.
Ruth Charo from the World Bank said, the forum coinciding with COP26 was particularly timely to focus on green economy, sustainable development, inclusive economy and social equity. She expected the participants to promote the development of the textile and apparel industry with practical actions and efficient suggestions, and hoped that universities and research institutions contribute more wisdom and strength to a greener, more sustainable and more inclusive industry.
Regarding the future-oriented Sino-Africa community of a shared future, Yoro Diallo, former First Counselor of Mali in China, Senior Researcher of Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University and Director of African Museum, believed that China with its success in poverty reduction set an example for African countries. Cooperation in poverty reduction occupies an important place in Sino-African cooperation and the development of infrastructure specifically geared towards poverty reduction and people-oriented policies such as improving public health systems and building capacity are also key areas for China-Africa cooperation, according to him.
One plenary session and six parallel sessions were set up around the theme of “Green Textile Technology and Sustainable Development”. Participants shared their ideas on such topics as textiles for emergency and epidemic prevention, future textiles, green advanced textile technology, functional fiber materials, theories and practices of a human community with a shared future, and dual cycles and sustainable development of the Belt and Road Initiative, etc.
Over the past years, Donghua University has hosted and co-hosted 7 Sino-Africa symposiums; established a Confucius Institute featuring textiles and fashion design at Moi University, Kenya; a textile education and training base and a technical service platform for the green development of textile industry in Ethiopia. With the platform of World Textile University Alliance (WTUA) initiated by Donghua University, Sino-Africa collaboration will be further enhanced to ensure sustainable, green and inclusive development of the textile and apparel industry in Africa.