During LFDW’s Fashionomics panel, which featured Ousmane Dore, Country Director for Nigeria at the Africa Development Bank, Ms. Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of Trade, State, and Investment, Mr. Segun Awolowo,the Executive Director of NEPC, and so much more, talk of investing in the growth of Nigeria’s garment and textile industry dominated the conversation. After the unfortunate decline of the country’s textile, cotton and garment sector, which was one of it’s largest employers, from over 170 million revenue generating textile mills in 1980 to 30 million in 2016, the Vice President of the African Development Group, Mrs. Geraldine Moleketi, noted that if more attention is paid to the industry, it’s limits are boundless and so will its contribution be to the growth of the country’s economy.
With a promise from the African Development Bank to leverage its resources and understanding of the financial landscape, Mrs. Moleketi noted that the Nigerian fashion industry is poised to be as financially successful as its film counterpart, which currently ranks as a 3.3 billion dollar sector. In line with LFDW’s campaign to connect the dots of the Nigerian fashion industry and create a cohesive and sustainable system, the African Development Bank highlighted its Business to Business website, which will act as a resource guide for the various parts of the fashion and textile industry, which currently operate in silos. The website will also harness Nigeria’s growing internet penetration rate by encouraging fashion businesses to go digital.
Enthusiastic attendees of the panel also commented on the importance of Nigerian fashion industry leaders to join in on the conversation about the industry that’s happening globally. One audience member focused on having representatives at the table discussing with retail executives from different countries who are keen on carrying Nigerian designers.
Click on this link for a video from CNBC Africa for more of the AfDB’s plans to support the growth of Nigeria’s fashion industry.