The Foundation: Responsible for the Cotton made in Africa Initiative

Bild Dr.Otto in AfrikaCotton made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation which Dr. Michael Otto established in 2005 based on the conviction that only by sustainable development the livelihoods of future generations and vital resources can be protected. Originally the foundation was named "Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Developing Countries" (FSAF). In 2007, the foundation changed its name to "Aid by Trade Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry". Its mission is to promote environmental protection and to improve the living conditions in developing countries. 

With the support of various partners from industry, government, research, and NGOs, the foundation focuses on aid by trade. Beyond supporting sustainable cultivation of agricultural and forestry products, the long-term aim is to further develop the value chains in those countries where the raw materials are produced in order to generate maximum added value. Africa is thus the foundation's first regional promotion focus. With its Cotton made in Africa initiative, the foundation strives to implement its goal of helping people help themselves through trade. The main leverage for this is currently the Cotton Expert House Africa, in which the foundation plays a major role. The Aid by Trade Foundation is a non-profit organization and pursues charitable aims.

The Board of Trustees: The Foundation's Decision-Making Body 

The Board of Trustees of the Aid by Trade Foundation is staffed with internationally leading figures from NGOs, the public sector, and trade. Its purpose is to ensure that the foundation's main objectives are implemented.

The board of trustees consists of at least 6 and at most 12 members, chaired by Dr. Michael Otto and his representative, Dr. Wolfgang Jamann, (International Civil Society Center). The first members of the panel were appointed by the founder of the Aid by Trade Foundation, Dr. Michael Otto. New members are nominated by the AbTF Management and elected for a term of two years by the current Board of Trustees. Members may be re-elected for additional terms. The management of the foundation drafts a report about the activities of the foundation to the Board of Trustees twice a year and presents its future plans.

Dr. Michael Otto


Prof. Dr. Michael Otto

Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Chairman of Supervisory Board Otto Group

“Cotton made in Africa is innovative, because it activates market forces and creates an ongoing win-win situation for all players at all stages of the value chain – from cotton farmers to consumers.”

Dr. Wolfgang Jamann

Dr. Wolfgang Jamann

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Executive Director International Civil Society Centre

“I am pleased to be a member of the Board of Trustees of CmiA, because I firmly believe that the only way to overcome hunger and poverty in Africa is for NGOs to work alongside government development organisations, companies and businesses, in accordance with social and environmental criteria, for active support to smallholder farmers in the third world. It is also vital for us to change our behaviour as consumers; production and purchasing of clothing made from CmiA cotton is a great opportunity for us to do that. The work in the Foundation is an enrichment because we are working across the dividing lines of the various sectors, and getting into discussion with one another."

Eberhard Brandes


Eberhard Brandes

Managing Director WWF Germany

“Our goal is to stop the global destruction of natural resources and the environment, and to create a future where humankind and nature can live together in harmony. What we want is effective action for conservation of nature and protection of the environment, coupled with sustainable development of the African countries – that is why we are promoting sustainable business activities. Cotton made in Africa is designed both to link cotton farmers in Africa and consumers in Europe via trade, and to ensure sustainable management of the land.”


Dr. Maria Flachsbarth


Dr. Maria Flachsbarth

Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

„Promoting sustainability across global supply chains is a central theme in Germany's development cooperation. Efforts to improve the situation of people and of the environment need to begin at the start of the chain, in the cotton field. This is the only way to make globalisation fair. That is why the BMZ has been supporting the work of Cotton made in Africa since its creation, all with the aim of promoting sustainable development in African countries.“

Olaf Gieseler


Olaf Gieseler

Managing Director CURATAX Treuhand GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

“Cotton made in Africa is a useful, innovative initiative. I am delighted to be able to make a contribution to setting up the legal and fiscal conditions for it, and to help in the internal organisation of Cotton made in Africa.”

Dr. Johannes Merck


Prof. Dr. Johannes Merck

Vice President Corporate Responsability Otto Group

"Cotton made in Africa stands for new and successful ways in development cooperation as well as an innovative and trend-setting initiative within the Corporate Responsibility commitment of textile companies. Economic principles are relevant for the work of Cotton made Africa, because the aim of the initiative is to help people help themselves, mobilize market forces and take into account the rules of the market. Thereby, Cotton made in Africa gives access to knowledge and education to those people for whom these goods were previously unavailable."

Matthias Mogge


Mathias Mogge

Secretary General and Chairman of the Board Welthungerhilfe

"We are on a promising path in development cooperation. The population in many countries has become more self-confident. Particularly in Africa, people are taking their future into their own hands more than before. As a member of the Board of Trustees of Cotton made in Africa, I look forward to being able to contribute to creating opportunities for people and the economic development of their home countries."


OptimizedUwe Schröder


Uwe Schröder

Honorary member of the Board of Trustees / Chairman of the Advisory Board Tom Tailor Holding AG

“Every partnership is made up of giving and receiving. In this case we can really achieve something by giving – with long-term effect. In return, we get high quality cotton produced by ecological methods. That is the key principle of the AbT Foundation – giving long-term support by means of aid.”

James Shikwati


James Shikwati

Director of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) Kenya

"I applaud Cotton Made in Africa’s effort to involve African farmers in value added exchange of products with European markets.“

Munir Zaveri

Munir Zaveri

CEO Alliance Ginneries Ltd.

"It is an honour and privilege to be appointed onto the Aid by Trade Foundation Board of Trustees. My family has been in the cotton business since 1935 hence we have seen all the ups and downs of the industry and the terrible effect bad policies have on African farmers. I have seen first hand how being part of a sustainable chain such as CmiA can positively impact the farmers and improve their livelihoods."

The Advisory Board: Providing Expertise and Advice for the Initiative

The Advisory Board of Cotton made in Africa is staffed with internationally renowned representatives of various interest groups:  NGOs, textile companies, cotton companies, and government as well as private funding organizations bring different perspectives and experience. Their different areas of expertise makes the Advisory Board a key discussion partner and advisor to the management:

Cotton Industry

Government Organizations

  • Bremen Cotton Exchange
  • Faso Coton S.A. 
  • Paul Reinhart AG
  • Plexus Cotton
  • German International Cooperation (GIZ)

Foundations and NGOs

 Textile Companies

  • Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU)
  • Welthungerhilfe (WHH)
  • WWF Deutschland
  • Otto (GmbH & Co KG)
  • Rewe Group
  • Tchibo GmbH

The Management Board Guides the Foundation's Work

The overall responsibility for the initiative Cotton made in Africa is shared by the Aid by Trade Foundation and the management of the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft GmbH which is responsible for marketing the rights of the Cotton made in Africa brand.
The management of the Aid by Trade Foundation is appointed for a term of two years. Re-appointment is permitted. The appointment of the management may be revoked by providing good cause before expiration of the term of office by a resolution of the Board of Trustees.



Tina Stridde

Aid by Trade Foundation

Managing Director

Gurlittstrasse 14
20099 Hamburg




Portraet Christian Barthel

Christian Barthel


Managing Director
Director Supply Chain

Gurlittstrasse 14
20099 Hamburg


Sabine Kleinewiese


Managing Director
Director Finance & Legal

Gurlittstrasse 14
20099 Hamburg


Cotton Companies - Local Partners

The cooperating cotton companies are responsible for the cultivation according to the CmiA standards. Contracts with COMPACI and AbTF to co-finance the activities ensure compliance with the standard criteria. Please find here the list of participating cotton companies.

Textile Companies - A Demand Alliance for African Cotton

The partners of the Demand Alliance explicitly ask for African cotton produced according to CmiA standards. They buy the sustainably grown cotton and pay a license fee to the foundation. The license fees are directly reinvested to benefit smallholder farmers in the project countries. To obtain the verified cotton, retailers conclude individual contracts with the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft. Currently more than 36 textile companies and fashion brands are partnering with CmiA. Get to know how to become a partner here.


Aid by Trade Foundation

Cotton made in Africa
Gurlittstraße 14
20099 Hamburg

Tel.: +49 (0)40 - 2576 - 755 - 0

Fax: +49 (0)40 - 2576 - 755 - 11


Coordinator CmiA Quality Assurance for West and Central Africa 

Younoussa Imorou Ali
Mobil: +229 97 29 34 96 / 94 15 67 67
Skype : yimorouali


Bangladesh: CmiA Registration of Spinning and Fabric Mills

Mahbub Khan
Mobile: +88 (0)171 - 312 - 2417