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The First African Fashion Study From Unesco Explores Opportunities As Well As Challenges.

Posted On : October 26, 2023

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UNESCO will present its first report on the fashion industry in Africa on October 26, 2023, during Lagos Fashion Week in Nigeria.
Africa’s fashion industry is booming thanks to the continent’s youthful and expanding population, growing middle class, fast urbanization, and the development of digital technology. African designers are incredibly talented and creative, and they actively contribute to changing perceptions of the continent while also providing communities with tangible economic benefits. These designers frequently find inspiration in traditional know-how and practices.

Nevertheless, a number of obstacles still need to be overcome in order to fully realize the potential of the African fashion industry. These include a lack of infrastructure and investment, inadequate systems for education and training, a lack of protection for intellectual property, difficulty breaking into new markets, and a difficult time finding high-quality materials at reasonable prices.

In light of this, UNESCO has released a new report titled The African Fashion Sector: Trends, Challenges, and Growth Opportunities. highlights the key issues and trends facing the fashion, textile, and fine craft industries in the area and offers evidence-based policy recommendations to help them reach their full potential.

The report’s release is scheduled for October 26, 2023, during Nigeria’s esteemed Lagos Fashion Week. A worldwide panel of prominent people and businesspeople will discuss how African fashion designers may act as catalysts for sustainable development during the event.

Today, African fashion is booming. Fashion weeks galvanize markets and creators in 32 countries across the continent, from Casablanca to Nairobi, via Lagos and Dakar. The growth in e-commerce, which attracted 28 percent of Africans in 2021 compared to 13 percent in 2017, has led to an increase in local consumers. At the same time, it has created new opportunities for the international development of African brands, whose annual textile, clothing, and footwear exports amount to US$15.5 billion.

For Africa, fashion is a powerful driver of creativity, economic development, and innovation, creating many jobs, especially for women and young people. To better understand the forces at play in this field, UNESCO has produced the first overview of the fashion industry at the continental level and outlined prospects for its future. The report underlines the economic and social opportunities created by the sector, 90 percent of which is composed of small and medium-sized enterprises, whose profits directly benefit populations. It also sheds light on current and future challenges related to Africa’s digital transformation, which UNESCO is accompanying.
These new practices are driving innovation and supporting the expansion of an industry that alone could increase the continent’s prosperity by 25 percent

Content Courtesy of UNESCO & NFH Digital Team

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