The African Development Bank’s flagship initiative, Fashionomics Africa, has launched the pilot phase of a digital marketplace to help Africa’s fashion designers, textile and accessories professionals connect with global markets.
The launch took place at the Global Gender Summit, a gathering of more than 1,500 representatives from multilateral development banks, finance institutions, governments and private sector leaders in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace website and mobile app, sponsored by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance, is the latest innovation from Fashionomics Africa, a platform enabling African entrepreneurs from the textile, apparel and accessories industries to create and grow their businesses, with a focus on opportunities for women and young people.
“It is the first-ever B2B [Business-to-Business] and B2C [Business-to-Consumer] platform that has ever been created for, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that are working along this value chain,” Dr. Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, said at the launch.
“It is all really for connecting business to business, businesses to consumers and ensuring we are putting into place all we need to really transform the clothing and fashion industries in Africa,” she added.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace and mobile app provides relevant market information, like market prices for textiles and clothing or listings of trade conferences, to increase transparency in the sector.
The aim is to connect suppliers, buyers, manufacturers and distributors to consumers and investors – to increase access and grow markets. To facilitate trade within Africa and worldwide, the digital marketplace and app operate through secure e-commerce and online payment systems.
“The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace will be a game-changer for Africa’s fashion entrepreneurs, to be able to reach regional and international markets and increase their revenues,” said Mahlet Teklemariam, Founder of Hub of Africa, an Ethiopia-based fashion platform that promotes African brands.
Hub of Africa was one of the exhibitors at the Bank-organized Fashionomics Africa pop-up market at the Global Gender Summit. The pop-up market featured 43 regional fashion brands and showcased the ‘Made in Africa’ business case for fine garments. It celebrated the power of African culture as an economic asset, a driver for growth and regional integration, as well as a source of jobs for our youth and women.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace website and mobile app aims to increase productivity for fashion entrepreneurs through capacity building and online training tools; and facilitate access to finance through traditional and innovative financing channels.