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Africa Development Bank launches Africa Fashonomics targeting job creation

The African Development Bank launched “Fashionomics”, a platform to develop the African fashion industry for jobs creation, at Lagos Fashion and Design Week.

The launch included the dissemination of the final report and findings on Fashionomics, a demonstration of the dedicated online sharing platform and a panel discussion featuring designers from Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa, alongside relevant Nigerian policy-makers.

The event brought together around 300 designers, entrepreneurs, fashion bloggers, investors, and representatives of international organizations, as well as stakeholders from the textile and fashion industry.

Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) aims to promote the African fashion industry by bringing together fashion producers, consumers and the media to review the collections of African designers in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub. LFDW is supporting initiatives to strengthen and develop the fashion industry. The annual event provides a physical platform that is repositioning the fashion industry for commerce and creativity.

The decision to use this event as a launch pad for Fashionomics in Nigeria ensured the maximum use of both the AfDB convening power and the presence of Africa’s vibrant creatives looking to unleash the economic potentials of the fashion industry. Designers, investors, policy-makers and media representatives from all over the continent participated in the event.

In her opening remarks, the AfDB Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, sounded a wake-up call. “Fashion is not only about design or inspiration. It’s also a multi-billion dollar industry that creates millions of jobs,” she said, noting that the combined apparel and footwear market in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be worth $31 billion.

At the interactive panel discussion, young designers agreed that the platform indeed had a two-way advantage in that they could both reap from and contribute to the industry across the continent and indeed worldwide. Omoyemi Akerele, the founder of the event, remarked that the platform would position African couture on the global fashion stage where it belongs.

The designers and budding entrepreneurs appealed to the media to assist in building and enhancing their work.

Fashionomics aims to create an enabling environment, where all players in the industry are connected to foster peer-to-peer learning, mentoring, information- and knowledge-sharing, and access to markets across borders with the click of a button.


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