Opportunities for growth and job creation
The creative industries in Africa offer massive potential for continent-wide job and GDP growth. For instance, the textile and clothing sector together represent the second-largest sector in developing countries after agriculture.
In textiles and clothing, the largest percentage of the workforce is made up of women. What’s more, there is great scope to hire more youth.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) approaches the challenge of women and youth unemployment, inter alia, by supporting MSMEs in the creative industries - such as fashion, food and film.
By fostering value chain development, the Bank prioritizes, among others, the agriculture and agro-processing industries, given their potential for value addition, and close interactions with the textile, clothing and fashion industries.
The role of the creative industries in the African economy
Diversifying African economies and further regional integration are essential parts of the Bank's ambition.
With 13 million young Africans joining the labour market every year, the development of labour-intensive sectors is imperative for a stable and prosperous Africa.
The ability of goal value chains to create jobs as the result of new activities constitutes a formidable opportunity, resulting in new trade patterns for African countries.
Such new activities, commonly referred to as 'creative industries', comprise emerging sectors such as the music, film, fashion, deign and food industries.
These industries use African culture and creativity as their unique selling point, both within and outside the continent, and are particularly attractive to large number of young people skilled and unskilled. They both create economic benefits and become a vehicle to further African regional integration and identify for a more resilient continent.
The creative industries in African can play an important role in the continent's economy by:
- Using African culture and creativity as a unique selling point.
- Boosting productivity and structural transformation.
- Creating jobs for women and youth (labor-intensive, generating more skilled and unskilled jobs).
- Generating local content, building MSMEs and developing skills.
- Accelerating economic growth and industrialization.
- Enhancing regional integration and new trade patterns, and boosting exports.
The Fashionomics Initiative
The African Development Bank, under the leadership of the Office of the Special Envoy on Gender (SEOG), is supporting the growth of African MSMEs in the creative industries, notably the fashion, film and food value chains.
By using technology as a driver for the development of the skills and capacity of African creative industries, the Bank aims to stimulate job creation on the continent, especially for women and youth.
Guided by its belief that global and regional value chains are paramount to boosting inclusive growth, the afDB debuted Fashionomics in May 2015 during its annual general meetings to discuss ways to strengthen the global value chain of Africa's fashion industry.
Fashionomics also offers tremendous scope for African countries to participate in regional and global integration.
With Fashionomics, the AfDB assumes leadership in promoting investments in the fashion sector, increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs and incubating and accelerating starts-ups.