African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (Associação Nacional de Jovens Empresários – ANJE), have entered into a three-year partnership to support and promote Africa’s Fashion Apparel and Textile Manufacturing Industry in Portugal and across Europe. This partnership is part of Afreximbank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) programme, which aims to facilitate investments in Africa’s creative and cultural economy through financing, capacity building, export and investment promotion, digital solutions, linkage and partnership promotion, and policy advocacy.
The cultural and creative industries in Africa have shown that with the right investments, they have the potential to contribute to the structural transformation of the continent, thereby creating jobs and increasing exports and other development outcomes. The partnership between Afreximbank and ANJE aims to address the challenges faced by African designers, providing them with the opportunity to access international markets while building their capacity through brand incubation.
Within the framework of this partnership, ANJE, through its fashion project called Portugal Fashion, will provide African designers with showcasing platforms, facilitate their access to international markets and strengthen their capacities through business mentoring and technical assistance in apparel production. In the long-term, Afreximbank and ANJE aim to attract more investment opportunities into the sector while developing the technical skills of African industry players, thereby improving Africa’s manufacturing and production capabilities.
The programme is designed to promote at least 40 African designers annually on Portugal Fashion’s runways. Designers will also benefit from networking opportunities with international industry experts, retailers, manufacturers, and other key stakeholders. The inaugural fashion showcase will take place in Porto, Portugal from 13-16 October 2021 and will weave in Africa’s creativity in the arts including lifestyle, music, art and food. In addition to this event, Afreximbank and ANJE have structured a partnership to advise and support European and Portuguese companies seeking to invest in Africa, where ANJE will act as a one-stop shop for investors looking into Africa and seeking advisory services and support from both Afreximbank and ANJE.
Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “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 monetise the creative sector and increase its contribution to Africa’s economy under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). I thank ANJE for their 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.” Mr. 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.”