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