15TH Annual Harvard African Business Conference




Topic: The Economics of the African Fashion Industry: Current Opportunities & Challenges Location: Aldrich 208 (Harvard Business School Campus, Soldiers Field, Boston MA 02163) 
Date/Time: Saturday Feb 16th, 11:05am - 12:20pm President of Adiree, producers of Africa Fashion Week NY|London|Paris|Milan|Berlin|Tokyo Adiat Disu West African Designer, Ituen Bassey East African Designer, Ally Rehmtullah Founder of Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory, Chid Liberty of Liberty & Justice
The panel explored the African fashion industry by thoroughly examining each step of the value chain, current incentives and key considerations around local versus outsourced production to achieve cost competitiveness.
The panelists included:
President of Adiree, producers of Africa Fashion Week|NY|London|Paris|Milan|Berlin|Tokyo : Adiat Disu
West African Designer, Ituen Bassey
East African Designer, Ally Rehmtullah
Founder of Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory, Chid Liberty of Liberty & Justice

Here are three questions examining the ways to improve the African Fashion Industry:
 How can countries in Africa create a consistent and effective way to establish local production opportunities that will sustain the economy?
It is essential to cultivate a much stronger partnership with financial entities (both private and government) that understand and appreciate the value of investing in Africa’s garment industry.
In general what opportunities do emerging and established African Fashion Designers face?
Despite production difficulties and the struggle to change people’s preconceptions, however, it seems that the interest in African fashion is continuing to grow. Established designers are paving the way to success for emerging designers to follow and gain recognition.
How do African designers obtain financial, marketing, and general management skills to maintain a profitable business?
I believe it is very important to establish the way consumers should view products from Africa. This can be done through structured partnerships and sponsorship, quality productions, campaigns, and media placements of designers and designer goods, and retail outlets established in the fashion capitals.

Adiat Disu, President of Adiree
Nigerian designer Ituen Bassey
Tanzanian designer Ally Rehmtullah
Founder of Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory, Chid Liberty
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