Addis Ababa, 9 February 2019: The time has come for African agripreneurs, creatives, financiers and fashionistas to seize the limelight together.
In the words of Dr. Frannie Léautier, TDB Chief Operating Officer: “if we fully develop the fashion value chain, it will result in a 25% increase in welfare across Africa. Exports could triple in less than a decade. African fashion is an incredible opportunity to create a growth driver globally! Let’s change African mindsets and transform whole value chains from ‘fertilizers to fashion’ and ‘fashion to finance’.”
The Trade and Development Bank is thrilled to be a partner of the Pan-African Fashion Initiative, a project launched by the African Union in collaboration with the AfroChampions Initiative, and to have co-organised a Special Launch Event today in Addis Ababa, alongside the Department of Trade and Industry, the African Development Bank, Africa50, Afreximbank, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, OCP, Ceramica Cleopatra Group.
At the launch event, delegates witnessed first-hand the dynamism of the African 3 billion-dollar fashion industry in a parade where some of the continent’s best fashion designers showcased their beautiful work and heard from key influencers on how to boost impact and collaboration between industry players.
Among others, we had the pleasure to hear from H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E.M. Albert Muchanga, African Union’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Dr. Arancha Gonzalez, ITC Executive Director, Carole Wainaina, Africa 50 COO, Treasure Thembisile Maphanga, the African Union’s Director for Trade and Industry, Oley Dibba-Wadda, AfDB’s Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, Edem Adzogenu, Co-Chair of AfroChampions Initiative’s Executive Committee, Anna Getaneh, Founder and Creative Director of African Mosaique, Samuel Mensah, Founder of Kisua, Adama Ndiaye, Organiser of the Dakar Fashion Week, Roberta Annan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Impact Fund for African Creatives, Jas Bedi, Bedi Investments CEO, Mohammed Abou El Enein, Founder and Chairman of Ceramica Cleopatra Group and TDB’s own COO Dr. Frannie Léautier, who moderated two panels on creating an African value chain to boost intra-African trade and on the “Made in Africa” fashion industry and bringing the African fashion industry to the next level.