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AfDB, NEPC task Nigeria on $5 trillion fashion industry potential


Aisha Abubakar

Aisha Abubakar

Country Missing In Top 10 Apparel Exporting Nations In Africa

Estimated to potentially worth about $5 trillion globally on a yearly basis, Nigeria has been tasked on the need to tap maximally the benefits the fashion and creative industry has to offer.

This is even as it has been established that Nigeria is not listed among the top 10 apparel-exporting countries in Africa.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) at the on going Fashionomics Conference and Exhibition, the fashion industry globally is expected to double in the next 10 years, generating up to $5 trillion yearly.

AfDB, while charging Nigeria and other African countries on the need to develop the sub-sector, pointed out that fashion is big business. It stressed that the combined apparel and footwear market in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is estimated to worth $31 billion based on data from Euromonitor International.

The regional bank explained that the textile industry value chain begins with the production of cotton and moves through the spinning and twisting of the fibre into yarn, the weaving and knitting of the yarn into fabric, and the bleaching, dying and printing of the fabric to obtain the fashionable garment worn world wide today.

AfDB added that at each step of the value chain, more value is added and additional jobs created.

In her opening remarks, AfDB’s Vice President and Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, said the bank is out to promote the fashion industry in Nigeria, which she described as being a multi billion dollar industry if well harnessed.

Fraser-Moleketi said, while still in its infancy, the African fashion industry has started to expand, which according to her was largely due to growing interest in Africa’s cultural traditions, including its vibrant hues and colourful fabrics, such as wax and printed dyed cotton and the high quality of craftsmanship in African cultures.

She disclosed that demand for African fashion is likely to be further boosted by the continent’s growing urban middle class, opening up the perspective of sustainable growth for the African fashion industry.

She posited that the fashion industry holds considerable potential to motivate and bring change to some of the most disadvantaged people, especially women and youth, while advancing structural transformation.

In her introductory remark, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Aisha Abubakar, said Nigeria cannot afford to be at the back in the global creative industry, which has become a money spinner.

Abubakar, who said the uniqueness of the Nigerian style is known globally because of its design, disclosed that government was ready to support local designers.

While calling for patronage and support for Nigerian made products, the minister stressed the need for collaboration between the private and public sector for maximum impact.

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