With the mind of helping fashion entrepreneurs surmount the economic challenges due to the pandemic, African Development Bank (AfDB) has gathered experts for them.
As the war to conquer the novel COVID-19 rages, AfDB says it is determined to create an enabling financial environment for fashion entrepreneurs to grow.
It brought together 136 fashion entrepreneurs, digital innovators and creative minds to chart a way forward for the sector in the continent.
The experts shared tips on how fashion entrepreneurs can surmount the economic challenges due to the pandemic with industry players at a webinar which was the first of its webinar series on the fashion industry in Africa.
According to ABDf, the webinar was launched and hosted by AfDB Fashionomics Africa initiative to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
“Supporting investment for the micro, small and medium enterprises in the creative and cultural industries, creating the right environment for the financial sector to play its full part in powering growth, lies at the heart of the African Development Bank’s agenda,” Director of the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department at the African Development Bank, Vanessa Moungar, said.
With the theme: “What does the COVID-19 disruption mean for Africa’s Fashion Market: Opportunities and Threats for Fashionpreneurs and Investors,” the participants exchanged ideas and shared lessons on how to take advantage of online tools to strengthen businesses.
The panelists included representatives from supply chain giant Maersk, the HEVA Fund for financing creative industries, the founder of made-in-Africa online brand Tongoro, and Afrikrea – an African e-commerce platform specialising in fashion and crafts.
“African fashion is rising right now. African designers need to develop their unique business model and have to be innovative. To do so, digital is key.
It’s a tool that we can truly leverage to our advantage. Africa has many stories to share and tell,” founder of Tongoro, Sarah Diouf, said.
Wakiuru Njuguna, Investment Manager and Partner at the HEVA Fund, said sustainability was going to be key to the future of fashion.
“Going forward, sustainable fashion is going to be the way to go. The African fashion brands need to be ready to answer the questions they will be asked,” she said.
According to AfDB, “Registration on the Fashionomics Africa webinars, which will be available on the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and Mobile App (available both on IOS, is free.
The platform aims to help Africa’s fashion designers; textile and accessories professionals connect with regional and global markets.
Fashionomics Africa leverages data and communication technologies to help entrepreneurs’ access business skills, finance and other tools.”