African Fashion Fund, ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative Launch New Investment Fund for Africa at Paris Peace Forum 2018

Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) alongside African Fashion Fund (AFF) has announced a partnership to launch a One Hundred Million Euro Fund (100million) the Impact Fund For Africa (IFFA), a new investment fund supporting African creatives working in the fashion and lifestyle industries. 
Launching in Paris during the Paris Peace Forum, an initiative by French President Emmanuel Macron, with the attendance of over 84 Heads of States, The United Nations Secretary General and many dignitaries, the proposed fund will address the investments needed to leverage the power of creative and cultural industries to expand the social capital of Sub-Saharan African countries and thus contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well promote inclusive growth in these economies. 

Showcasing its expected direct impact and potential, the fund was launched on November 12 (15:15-16:00, Press Room) with the presence of Ms. Roberta Annan, Managing Partner of Roberta ANNAN, Founder of the African Fashion Fund and M. Simone CIPRIANI, Founder and Chief Technical Advisor of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (ITC). On the following day of the launch, on Tuesday the 13th November, a unique fashion show featuring three leading African designers will be held in the Agora Hall at 13h00, followed by an interactive pitch (14:30-15:00) led by Ms. ANNAN and Ms. Henriette GEIGER, Director for Peace and People at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, funding a relevant part of the actions of Ethical Fashion Initiative in various countries of Africa. 

The African designers selected to present their work are: 

Duaba Serwa – a contemporary Ghanaian fashion brand founded in 2011, the brand has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Vogue Italia and Deutsch Welle; 

Images via Instagram/@Duabaserwa
Sophie Zinga – a socially conscious womenswear brand featuring hand-woven Senegalese cloth and semi precious stones; 
Images via Instagram/@sophiezinga
Chocolate by Kwaku – Chocolate by Kwaku Bediako – A Ghanaian fashion brand which draws inspiration from the rich Ghanaian culture, lifestyle, taste and preferences. 
Images via Instagram/@chocolateclothesgh

The Impact Fund for Africa will be managed by Roberta Annan Capital Partners (RACP) with members from the EFI serving as non-exec board members and managing the sustainability committee, which will contribute to the mobilisation of private capital for the financing of investments in support of the African creative and lifestyle industry. 

Roberta Annan.

For over ten years the Ethical Fashion Initiative has invested in refining production systems that enable production with community groups of micro-entrepreneurs in target countries. Working in the luxury and lifestyle sectors supporting international companies such as Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney source high-quality and ethically-produced artisanal goods from some of the developing world’s most difficult environments. 

AFF Founder, Roberta Annan says: “ I thrilled about this partnership with the EFI. I believe it will give African brands the indispensable funding and resources to participate competitively in the global fashion economy. We are also in good contact with the European Commission, key partner of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, to identify possible way of cooperation with their new strategy to support investment in Africa and into the creative sector.” 

EFI Chief Technical Advisor, Simone Cipriani says: “We are incredibly excited to launch this investment fund for Africa knowing the direct impact this investment will have on the growth of creative industries in Sub-Saharan Africa. To launch this at the Paris Peace Forum is fitting – ethical work, provides an alternative path for hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty, while lifting the continent’s vibrant creative sector.” 

Director General for International Cooperation and Development of the EC, Stefano Manservisi, says: “we see the creation of new Investment Funds tailored to the inflection of African creative industries — such as the Impact Fund for Africa — with a lot of interest. The European Union is increasingly supporting a variety of actions to strengthen and add value to the cultural dimension of development and to our cooperation with partner countries. Together with ITC, we are making a relevant contribution to creating jobs and prosperity opportunities in fragile situations, while investing in identity building and in facilitating the interchange in international value chains. The Ethical Fashion Initiative is one of the best examples.” 

Allocations for the proposed fund will come from private business and institutional sectors (family offices and foundations). Additional contributions will be looked for from other international organization engaged in enlarging their activities to strengthen productive investments in Africa (like the experience of the European Commission with the External Invest Plan and its European Fund for Sustainable Development) to support a component of seed funding and guarantee instruments. The private capital will be mobilised by EFI and AFF through institutional investors and private companies that will participate in investments. The fund seeks to create an investment potential to cover the gap between public intervention and business reality in the creative and fashion sectors of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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