10 May 2015

What will it take for Africa to join the global fashion system?

The Issue

What will it take for Africa to join the global fashion system? 

Fashion has become a truly global business. China, India, South-East Asia, Latin America and the former Soviet bloc are all integrated into the global fashion industry. But Africa, home to one in seven people on the planet, remains on the fringes of the sector, both in terms of manufacturing and consumption. Africa still faces economic, geo-political and social challenges, yet a third of the continent’s one billion people are now upwardly mobile and over the next decade, this colossal, yet fragmented market of 55 independent countries will become a lucrative frontier opportunity as both a source of production and a consumer market for fashion. What will it take for Africa to join the global fashion system?

Context
Opinions
Laura Eboa Songue

Op-Ed | All African Fashion Needs is Structure

The success of a pan-African fashion industry hinges on the continent getting more organised, more efficient and more ROI-focused, argues Laura Eboa Songue.

Fatoumata Ba Managing Director, Jumia Nigeria

Op-Ed | Internet Access Will Transform Fashion in Africa

Logistical obstacles may still plague Africa’s fashion market, but progress in IT is already having a big impact, argues Fatoumata Ba.

Hanneli Rupert Founder & Owner, Merchants on Long & Okapi

Op-Ed | Africa Needs Credible International Partners

The fashion industry needs to foster more substantial and deeply-rooted business partnerships in Africa, argues Hanneli Rupert.

Liya Kebede Model & Businesswoman

Op-Ed | Approach Africa with a New Mindset

For Africa to attract the investment it needs, the fashion world needs to let go of some myths and misconceptions about the continent, says Liya Kebede.

Marc Compagnon President, LF Sourcing

Op-Ed | Africa, Fashion’s Next Sourcing Hub?

Africa’s integration into the global apparel industry is a question of when, not if, says Marc Compagnon of Li & Fung.

Chris Folayan Founder, Mall for Africa

Op-Ed | Africa’s Fashion Revolution Will Be Digital

Better, cheaper, faster Internet infrastructure is urgently needed to put Africa’s fashion retailers, entrepreneurs and consumers on the map, says Chris Folayan.

Omoyemi Akerele Creative & Managing Director, Stylehouse Files

Op-Ed | Stop Waiting for the Perfect Moment to Invest in Africa

Some international fashion players are dithering for too long or taking a half-hearted approach to African markets, says Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion and Design Week.

Helen Jennings Editor-in-Chief, Nataal

Op-Ed | Elevate African Luxury Through Sustainability

High-end fashion from Africa can gain a competitive advantage by continuing to enhance its sustainability credentials, says Helen Jennings.

Top Comments
There needs to be a mindset change among Africans to buying African as this will help inject the much needed funds back into the industry and facilitate growth.
By Arieta Mujay
In Africa its still a “myth” in some communities to understand that someone can go to school and study to become a fashion designer or work in the fashion industry.
By Sheila Lukwanzi
We need the government in the african countries to understand, support financially and pay more attention to creative studies.
By Beatrace Oola

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