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Music meets art on Ananse Africa

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Guests and designers at the event

It’S now an established fact that is currently getting global attention. To further push this development, Ananse Africa, a pan-African startup e-commerce platform was launched recently in Johannesburg and Lagos simultaneously.

The platform aims to connect African creatives such as fashion designers, visual artists, and musicians, with local and international consumers, and showcase the rich and diverse tapestry of the continent’s creative talent.

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To actualise this, the platform is partnering with Mastercard Foundation and logistics market leader DHL, to roll out the most simplified and comprehensive international e-commerce payments and logistics system that will not only support entrepreneurs in the creative sector but also enable them to grow their businesses.

Speaking at the launch, the founder Sam Mensah, a Ghanaian ex-Silicon Valley executive and fashion entrepreneur, said, “We are not only making it easy for consumers around the world to shop from fashion designers and artists across Africa but also making it straightforward for creatives to manage the payments and logistics functions necessary to complete an eCommerce order.”

According to Mastercard Foundation Country Head, Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, the partnership will enable African fashion brands to sell over one million garments over the next three years with 75 per cent sourced from African suppliers and 70 per cent participation from women.

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She said, “This will provide a significant boost to the creative economy sector. The startup will enable artists, fashion designers, artisans, and small businesses along the fashion and art value chains, conduct trade and expand their businesses, leveraging the power of the Internet in a cost-effective way.”

Lawanson noted that with countries around the world imposing COVID-19 restrictions on physical retail and international travel, consumers are increasingly switching to online shopping, resulting in a sizeable decrease in the revenues of small businesses like tailors and fashion designers.

On his part, DHL Vice-President for Global eCommerce, Leendert van Delft, spoke of the company’s experience as the fashion retail and art industry’s leading global logistics partner.

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“For decades, we have pioneered solutions to meet the needs of artists, designers, retailers, and customers by making it our mission to provide these businesses with exceptional service that translates to a competitive edge. Through our collaboration with Ananse, we are delighted to offer fast and efficient international logistics solutions that have proven critical to countless startups over the years,” he said.

For Uche Egele, founder and Creative Director of Marté Egele, genuine handmade Nigerian leather accessories brand born out of true friendships and a yearning for individuality, the coming of Ananse Africa will greatly boost the small startups like her brand, especially in the fashion industry.

Meanwhile, the e-commerce platform has also announced that it has sealed a strategic media partnership with Trace TV, a French pay-TV music video television channel, to promote the work of African fashion designers, artists, and artisans to its millions of viewers globally.

According to Mensah, curated content on ananse.com will enable shoppers to explore, get inspired, and enjoy the work of African fashion designers and artists in an engaging manner.

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