(Ecofin Agency) - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced a three-year partnership with Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE - Associação Nacional de Jovens Empresários) to support Africa’s fashion apparel and textile manufacturing sector.
The partnership is in line with Afreximbank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) program launched last year to organize a series of events in the run-up to the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, which will take place in Kigali, Rwanda.
“We believe that the vast creative talent pool on the continent is an opportunity to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation. Through CANEX, the Bank is providing tangible support for the development of an ecosystem to monetize the creative sector and increase its contribution to Africa’s economy under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). I thank ANJE for its visionary and bold leadership. Afreximbank is pleased to partner with them to undertake this transformational initiative for Africa’s fashion apparel and textile manufacturing industry,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.
According to Fashionomics Africa, an initiative launched by African Development Bank Group (AFDB), the sub-Saharan Africa apparel sector faces challenges that are common throughout the continent; African textile production facilities are absent in most countries since they need more investment than clothing facilities, and Small-scale producers and designers are unable to access industrial production.
Both partners in the long term aim to attract more investment opportunities into the textile sector while developing the technical skills of players in the industry. Speaking in this light, Manuel Mota, Vice President of ANJE said: “The creative industries in Africa have immense potential to become key drivers for economic growth and I believe this initiative will have a positive and sustainable impact. It is a privilege for ANJE to host and work together with Afreximbank on this important milestone.”
Statistics from AFDB show that the fashion industry globally, in the next ten years, is expected to grow at a double pace thereby generating about $5 trillion annually. This presents a great opportunity for Africa to expand at all levels of the value chain - from design to production to marketing.