77th Plenary Meeting of the ICAC
Welcome Address

Welcome Speech from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Traditionally known as the land of cocoa, Côte d’Ivoire’s cotton cultivation is an essential product of agricultural diversification for the central and northern regions of the country, and it has largely contributed to economic and social development since its introduction shortly before 1960.

Given the strategic importance of the cotton sector, the government and citizens of Côte d’Ivoire are pleased to host the 77th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). This event will give our country the opportunity to show its guests the dynamism and diversity of our cotton sector, from production to fibre transformation.

Despite its modest production volume (180,000 tons of fibre in 2017/18), Côte d’Ivoire has participated in most ICAC Plenary Meetings since the country became a member in 1973. This is the time and place — on behalf of the Ivorian Government and the President of the Republic, his Excellency Alassane Ouattara — to salute the invaluable assistance of the ICAC in promoting cotton fibre consumption. The efforts of the ICAC in transmitting scientific, technical and reliable statistical information display the organisation’s professionalism and usefulness to governments, as well as to the private sector.

As an instrument of cooperation between states on cotton issues, the success of this model was an inspiration to the cashew sector to implement the Cashew International Advisory Council (CIAC).

The theme of the 77th Plenary Meeting, “Cotton Challenges: Smart and Sustainable Solutions”, is well chosen due to the problems faced by the cotton sector throughout the world, requiring robust responses from governments and the scientific community, particularly in Africa. Our country in particular expects to benefit from the experiences of advanced countries in terms of productivity, modernisation of farms and the marketing of cotton fibre and textile products adapted to ever-higher standards of quality.

Our country, Côte d’Ivoire, as well as the countries of the West African subregion, expect to benefit tremendously from this year's Plenary, so as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and on behalf of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, I have the honour to welcome you to the 77th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee, to be held in Abidjan from 2-6 December, 2018.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Welcome Speech by the Chairman of the Organising Committee

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) is an international organisation created to harmonise the efforts of both producing and consuming countries to promote the worldwide enhancement of the cotton sector. The ICAC holds its conference annually in one of the member countries to share the latest technical and technological developments.

We are very proud that stakeholders from all sectors of the cotton value chain have come to Côte d’Ivoire, and we look forward to collaborating with nations from all over the world to improve the cotton industry.

I am therefore delighted that under the initiative of the Political and Administrative Authorities, the 77th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Abidjan is now a reality. Ever since Côte d’Ivoire was chosen to host this event, all stakeholders in the Ivorian cotton sector have joined forces to make this conference possible. Their involvement at all levels, within the framework of the Organising Committee, shows their commitment to the problems facing the cotton sector and their commitment to the success of this event. The support and technical input from the entire ICAC Secretariat has been an excellent collaborative experience for us.

To our guests from various backgrounds, I personally — and on behalf of the entire Organising Committee — offer our warmest greetings through the traditional 'AKWABA': Welcome to Ivorian land, land of hospitality and diversity but above all, land of cotton and of agriculture, which is the foundation of the country’s development and its international reputation.

The Organising Committee stands ready to assist you in having a pleasant stay in Abidjan, as well as in the other cities and regions you might visit.


President and Chief Executive of the Cotton and Cashew Council
Chairman of the Organising Committee