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African fashion will attract attention at AfDB meet
16
May '17
Courtesy: African Development Bank
Courtesy: African Development Bank
Africa’s fashion industry will attract global attention at the 2017 annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), being organised during May 22-26, 2017 in Ahmedabad. This year’s annual meetings are focusing on transforming agriculture for wealth creation in Africa, and are expected to be attended by around 3000 experts and industry people.

Beautifully dressed models will walk the catwalk to show how African fabrics are inspiring more and more famous designers. By combining a fashion show and panel discussion, the India Fashionomics session will use the global value chains in textiles to illustrate possibilities for African agriculture-related industrialisation.

“Fashion is not just about design or inspiration. It’s also a multi-million dollar industry that creates millions of jobs, including in textile and clothing manufacturing,” says Emanuela Gregorio, gender specialist at the AfDB.

Through its fashionomics initiative, AfDB is supporting the development of creative industries that utilise products, especially cotton, in Africa. Through this initiative, AfDB is promoting investments in the fashion sector, increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs and incubating and accelerating starts-ups.

At a session on `Creating Wealth through Fashonomics’, experts and practitioners will discuss methods of promoting textile manufacturing in Africa which has mostly small and medium enterprises as the textile and clothing firms. It will also set agenda for how the involvement of African countries in the global textile industry could look like (from conception and design).

The Bank is investing in high-growth sectors that have the potential to promote economic empowerment and create 25 million jobs over the next decade. The Bank considers the creative industries as offering massive potential for continent-wide job and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. For instance, instead of exporting raw cotton, Africa needs to move to the top of the global value chain and produce garments targeted at the growing African and global consumers.

The textile/clothing market is already worth more than US$31 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa and accounts for the second largest number of jobs after agriculture, employing many women and young people besides men.

In Ethiopia, a pioneer in the textile industry in the region with more than 40,000 employees, salaries are three times lower than in Côte d’Ivoire and the cost of electricity remains low due to availability of hydropower, and inputs are affordably priced. It is expected that the textile clothing industry could generate 400,000 jobs in SubSaharan Africa alone and exports could double in the next 10 years. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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