Mali is the second cotton producer in Africa after Egypt. Organic produced cotton was not an issue. This is changing, companies like Victoria's Secret and Marks & Spencer use the Fair Trade fabrics for apparel production. And the news even gets better, since a few years the cotton farmers also focus on the local market.
A growing number of cotton farmers choose for production methods without use of harmful pesticides. A few years ago there were only one hundred pioneers, now the West African country counts seven thousand organic farmers. Local fashion designers are helping to promote organic cotton.
News about Africa is very often filled with stereotyped images of famine, war and disease. But there is also another side to the continent. Fast-growing economies and investment opportunities. The Dutch production company Interactive Africa focuses its lens precisely on the innovative side of Africa with its online video reports Spark Africa.
Also visit: www.africa-interactive.com
Spark Africa is about innovative developments you hear little about. All the items are produced by African journalists and cameramen which creates a different dynamics compared to when a white European crew is used.
Among other fascinating reports comprising this 20-episodes video series, we take a look at how for example an entrepreneur from Friesland in the Netherlands has established a successful dairy business in Tanzania and how students from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, came about to invent a bicycle charger for mobile phones.
The video reportages are a mix of portraits of Dutch entrepreneurs in Africa, African inventors and reports on fast-growing industries like the outsourcing of ICT work in Africa.