WHY THE WORLD SHOULD INVEST IN AFRICAN FASHIONAfrica’s economy has continued growing rapidly on the back of success recorded in some sectors like manufacturing, which has now beamed light on the importance of the continent’s fashion industry and the immense opportunities inherent therein.
Investors are being reminded again of the golden opportunity yet to be effectively exploited in the continent’s fashion industry.
The continent has shown eagerness to develop its clothing (apparel manufacturing) capacities for some time now but efforts have been frustrated by dearth of infrastructure, capital and Asia’s domination of the industry globally.
However, with cost of production rising in China, Africa may have been presented a golden opportunity to ‘reclaim’ its fashion industry and invite long term Investments..
Africa is home to seven fastest growing economies in the world and about 70percent of the continents’ population live in countries that have experienced average growth in excess of 4 percent over the past decade. Although the statistics are interesting, African fashion industry currently contributes only a small fraction of what it is capable of contributing to the continent’s GDP says Deola Sagoe, a Nigerian designer, who has been a force in the industry for the past 25 years.
According to Sagoe, African fashion can become a $15.5 billion industry in the next five years, as personal income increase and the continents economies grow. The International monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that sub-Saharan Africa would continue its impressive economic growth in 2014, picking up from 4.9 percent in 2013 to about 51.2 percent this year. This growth highlights the potentials of the industry, which has been said to be yet to reach its full potentials.
African fashion has enjoyed massive media presence in recent times, which meand the world is now aware of the industry and the capabilities of its designers. Several designers from the continent today feature in international fashion shows: 10 African designers are participating at the African Fashion Week New York, which joined the prestigious New York Fashion week. Fashionistas around the world and prospective investors alike have had another opportunity to see African creativity first-hand.
The success of some African designers on the international scene has shown the world that given the right investment, African designers can compete on the world stage. Investors sure have been watching the industry for a while and have watched it grow this much. Now is the time to invest.