Demand for African fashion spurs a $16bn export industry
Africa's fashion industry, valued at $15.5 billion, is poised to establish itself as a global leader, driven by the increasing demand for "Made in Africa" designs worldwide. A recent report from UNESCO underscores the continent's potential to take a prominent role in the global fashion landscape.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay emphasizes the significance of Africa's youthful population, which is projected to double by 2050, and the fashion industry's role in promoting cultural diversity and empowering young people and women. Omoyemi Akerele, Director of Lagos Fashion Week, points out the growing consumer preference for products "Made in Africa" as symbols of pride and identity. However, to meet this rising demand, strengthening the entire production chain is essential.
Africa stands out as a significant producer of raw materials, with 37 out of 54 countries engaged in cotton production. Annually, it exports textiles worth $15.5 billion while importing textiles, clothing, and footwear valued at $23.1 billion.
Points clés à retenir
The trend for "Made-in-Africa" fashion is gaining significant momentum, particularly among the continent's youthful population, which makes up 50% of the total population, and the growing middle class, accounting for over 35% of the population. Africa is also experiencing rapid growth in the digital sector, which is facilitating intra-African trade and nurturing emerging talent. The continent boasts remarkable talent in haute couture, crafts, and clothing, as demonstrated by the 32 annual Fashion Weeks. A substantial 42% increase in demand for African haute couture is projected over the next decade. Fashion's growth across Africa extends to various sectors, including the film industry, textiles, garments, accessories, and fine crafts, all deeply rooted in African culture. The expanding e-commerce sector further fuels the demand for African fashion brands, as highlighted in the UNESCO report. Africa's fashion industry is positioned for a promising future, driven by both its rich cultural heritage and its youthful and increasingly affluent consumer base.