How can Private and Public Institutions Support Africa’s Growing Fashion Industry?
This is the topic that will be discussed during the virtual conference entitled “The Future of Fashion Industry in Africa”. It will be in the form of a series of thought-provoking panel discussions about the textiles and fashion industry in Africa. It is scheduled on Friday, 18th December 2020, from at 10:30 am to11:30 am (GMT-KIGALI).
It is organized by the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show known as the RCFS. This is a Rwandan company which had been working in the fashion industry about 8 years ago. The RCFS was founded in 2012 to promote fashion designers and create public awareness of the talent and quality designs in Africa.
Since the start, may Africans men and women have been promoted through the RCFS events. It assists in marketing, promotion and branding especially for the upcoming fashion designers who are starting small businesses in fashion. According to the examples from the RCFS’s 8 years’ experience, many brands from all over the continent had been established and some are now selling even on the international fashion markets.
This is a magnificent step which shows that the Africa fashion industry had been achieving in a short time. For example, Africa has few fashion schools comparing to the countries where modern fashion is coming from like in the USA, India and Europe etc. But many Africans fashion designers had been invited to showcase in Western and Europe fashion weeks and this is a great full for the Africa fashion sector.
The journey of the fashion industry in Africa started about 20 years ago. It was the revolution of the textiles and fashion industry on the continent which the RCFS sees as an example for the Africans and friends of Africans to feel the pride from our various cultures in styling.
According to the African Development Bank, demand for African textiles and garments is increasing globally, and African patterns are gaining international recognition as fashionable and iconic pieces, with international fashion houses now integrating more and more African influences in their latest collections. As President Zewde stated: “Globally, Africa’s cultural colours and clothing are increasingly being embraced.
Another example, there are several continental initiatives which are supporting the African fashion industry to develop and sell their products. The Fashionomics Africa initiative of the African Development Bank, together with the African Union, the AfroChampions initiative, and other institutional partners and private operators, launched the Pan-African Fashion initiative on 9 February during the recent AU meetings in Addis Ababa.
Pan-African Fashion initiative is a platform for stakeholder engagement, dialogue, strategy and policies to advance the African fashion industry within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to remove trade barriers between African nations and thus expand intra-Africa trade by about $35 billion per year. Intra-African imports and exports currently account for just 15% of all trade on the continent.
BY the RCFS TEAM