The African Development Bank (AfDB) will have its annual meeting in Ahmedabad, May 22 to 26, 2017. Experts and practitioners will discuss methods of promoting textile manufacturing in Africa, where many of the textile and clothing firms are small and medium enterprises. It will also discuss how the involvement of African countries in the global textile industry could look like, from conception and design. Models will show how African fabrics are inspiring designers.
AfDB is supporting the development of creative industries that utilize products, especially cotton, in Africa. Through this initiative, AfDB is promoting investments in the fashion sector, increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs and incubating and accelerating starts-ups.
The bank is investing in high-growth sectors that have the potential to promote economic empowerment and create 25 million jobs over the next decade. It considers creative industries as offering massive potential for continent-wide job and gross domestic product growth. For instance, instead of exporting raw cotton, Africa needs to move to the top of the global value chain and produce garments targeted at the growing African and global consumer class.
The textile and clothing market is already worth more than $31 billion in sub-Saharan Africa and accounts for the second largest number of jobs in developing countries after agriculture.