A new era of security and sustainability: UNDP MALI and its partners equip local dyers in Bazin

5 octobre 2023

Family photo, delivery of protective equipment to bazin dyes in Mali.

@PNUD Mali / Moulaye DEMBELE

Bamako, Mali - September 15, 2023 - As part of efforts to strengthen the traditional textile dyeing sector in Mali, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) teamed up with Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia and Brunello to jointly address challenges faced by women dyers. A ceremony was organized, with the presence of both companies online as well as the Embassy of Japan in Mali, to hand over personal protective equipment generously funded by the companies. The symbolic event not only consolidated progress made but also highlighted the renewed commitment of all stakeholders to reviving the dyeing sector in Mali through public-private partnership for the benefit of the local communities.

Several speeches were delivered during this memorable event, underscoring the significance and scope of this initiative. The Resident Representative of UNDP Mali Country Office highlighted the sector’s rich heritage and tradition, noting the unique appeal of Malian dyes since the 1960s. Challenges faced by the traditional dyeing sector, from health and environmental impacts to increased competition, were mentioned. He pointed out that the "BemBAZIN" fabric, sustainably produced by Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia and Brunello through innovative technology, is a symbol of tradition and the future, with benefits to the dyers and the environment.

His Excellency Mr. Hideki Uezono, Ambassador of Japan in Mali, stressed the cultural significance of artisanal dyeing in both Mali and Japan. He reiterated Japan's commitment to the health and safety of Malian artisans, urging beneficiaries to use the provided equipment daily for their well-being and their communities.

Mr. Koji Hamada, CEO of Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia, joining the ceremony remotely, expressed his company's enthusiasm for the project, recognizing the potential of bazin. Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia, in partnership with Brunello and UNDP and backed by the Japanese Embassy in Mali, aspires to create an environment where artisans can work more comfortably and safely, leading to added value.

Mr. Fabrizio Casoli, Vice General Manager of Brunello also joining online, reiterated the company’s dedication to preserving tradition, with "BemBAZIN" serving as a testament to their commitment to merging the old with the new. Emphasizing the paramount importance of human value, Brunello continues to collaborate with partners to ensure the health and safety of those involved in traditional bazin dyeing through the provision of essential protective equipment.

During the ceremony, voices from the bazin dyeing sector were also heard. A representative of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the support received, highlighting the importance of a safe and well-equipped work environment. A second representative mentioned the challenges related to the high cost and decreasing quality of dye products currently in the market. She also shared the idea that establishing a white bazin production plant in Mali could be transformative, creating jobs and helping to reduce poverty.

The event marked another milestone in the collaboration between Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia, Brunello and UNDP, a coalition of like-minded actors supporting Mali's ancient dyeing tradition and steering them towards a prosperous and sustainable future.

For more information about the partnership, please contact:

Moulaye Dembélé, Communications Assistant, UNDP Mali



About UNDP:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in over 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, and enhance governance and peace.


About Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia:

Asahi Kasei Fibers Italia is a subsidiary of the multinational Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei Corporation, specializing in the sale of Bemberg™, a regenerated cellulose fiber, Cupro.


About Brunello:

Brunello is a company specialized in the production of sustainable and ethical textiles and clothing, committed to preserving traditional craftsmanship and supporting local communities.