The African Development Bank’s flagship initiative, Fashionomics Africa 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, attended by more than 1,500 representatives from multilateral development banks, financial institutions, governments and private sector leaders in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace website and mobile app is sponsored by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance. It is the latest innovation from Fashionomics Africa, a platform which enables 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,” said Dr. Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
She added that the aim of the program is to connect businesses to businesses and consumers and ensuring that everything that transforms the clothing and fashion industries in Africa is put into place.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace and mobile app provide relevant market information, like market prices for textiles and clothing or listings of trade conferences so as to increase transparency in the fashion sector.
Its aim is to connect suppliers, buyers, manufacturers and distributors to consumers and investors so as to increase access and grow markets. Also to facilitate trade within Africa and the world.
“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 Global Gender Summit at the Bank-organized Fashionomics Africa pop-up market. The summit celebrated the power of African culture as a driver for growth, an economic asset and regional integration, as well as a source of jobs for our youth and women.
The Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace website and the mobile app aims at increasing productivity for fashion entrepreneurs through capacity building and online training tools as well as facilitating access to financing.