On 24 January 2008, François Traoré, Chairman of the AProCA (Association of African Cotton Producers), and Hamidou Boly, Dean of the Polytechnic University of Bobo Dioulasso (UPB) in Burkina Faso, signed a partnership agreement on starting a Cotton University that will be located at the UPB. The ceremony will take place before His Excellency Tertius Zongo, the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, and the Chairman of the African Cotton Association (ACA), Célestin Tiendrebéogo.
François Traoré mentioned that the main purpose of the Cotton University, a university without walls, is to provide continuing education for members of the cotton industries, focusing on directors of trade organisations and their full-time employees. In the next phase, it will offer a Masters degree that will provide a specialisation in management for young graduates from engineering schools and young professionals in the cotton industries from Western and Central Africa.
According to Chairman Traoré, in the longer term, this regional university (fifteen cotton-producing African countries are targeted) will provide training for people in African cotton in various fields. This same training will come to meet the needs of other African farming industries. The specific expertise in management for farming industries meets a need for the skills required to ensure the competitiveness of African industries and help them face competition on a global scale.