Cairo/Porto, 19 July 2021: African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (Associação Nacional de Jovens Empresários – ANJE), have announced a three-year partnership to support and promote Africa’s Fashion Apparel and Textile Manufacturing Industry in Portugal and across Europe.
This partnership is part of Afreximbank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) programme, which aims to facilitate investments in Africa’s creative and cultural economy through financing, capacity building, export and investment promotion, digital solutions, linkage and partnership promotion, and policy advocacy.
The cultural and creative industries in Africa have shown that with the right investments, they have the potential to contribute to the structural transformation of the continent, thereby creating jobs and increasing exports and other development outcomes. The partnership between Afreximbank and ANJE aims to address the challenges faced by African designers, providing them with the opportunity to access international markets while building their capacity through brand incubation.
Within the framework of this partnership, ANJE, through its fashion project called Portugal Fashion, will provide African designers with showcasing platforms, facilitate their access to international markets and strengthen their capacities through business mentoring and technical assistance in apparel production. In the long-term, Afreximbank and ANJE aim to attract more investment opportunities into the sector while developing the technical skills of African industry players, thereby improving Africa’s manufacturing and production capabilities.
The programme is designed to promote at least 40 African designers annually on Portugal Fashion’s runways. Designers will also benefit from networking opportunities with international industry experts, retailers, manufacturers, and other key stakeholders. The inaugural fashion showcase will take place in Porto, Portugal from 13-16 October 2021 and will weave in Africa’s creativity in the arts including lifestyle, music, art and food.
In addition to this event, Afreximbank and ANJE have structured a partnership to advise and support European and Portuguese companies seeking to invest in Africa, where ANJE will act as a one-stop shop for investors looking into Africa and seeking advisory services and support from both Afreximbank and ANJE.
Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “We believe that the vast creative talent pool on the continent is an opportunity to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation. Through CANEX the Bank is providing tangible support for the development of an ecosystem to monetise the creative sector and increase its contribution to Africa’s economy under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). I thank ANJE for their visionary and bold leadership. Afreximbank is pleased to partner with them to undertake this transformational initiative for Africa’s fashion apparel and textile manufacturing industry.”
Mr. Manuel Mota, Vice President of ANJE, said: “The creative industries in Africa have immense potential to become key drivers for economic growth and I believe this initiative will have a positive and sustainable impact. It is a privilege for ANJE to host and work together with Afreximbank on this important milestone.”
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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. The Bank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, Afreximbank has disbursed more than US$6.5 billion in 2020 to help member countries manage the adverse impact of financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has completed the development of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
About ANJE and Portugal Fashion
PORTUGAL FASHION is a promotional project for Portuguese fashion. It was set up by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs in 1995 with the aim of bringing about a paradigm shift in the Portuguese textile sector. In its 25 years of history, the project has stood out for its discovery of new talents, through the Bloom platform (where 100 young designers have presented collections since 2010), building real partnerships between production and design and the increasing popularity of Portuguese fashion on national and international catwalks. To date, it has held a total of 170 events, 125 of those taking place internationally. PORTUGAL FASHION made its début on international catwalks in 1999. Since then, has made the internationalisation of Portuguese fashion one of its main aims, holding campaigns in cities as varied as New York, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul or Vienna. The project is now hosting a global roadshow with regular appearances in the major fashion capitals: London, Paris and Milan, in addition to the fashion week held in Porto, Portugal.
ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs is a private law association of public utility and member of the Portuguese Economic and Social Council. Since 1986, it has been institutionally representing young Portuguese entrepreneurs nationally and internationally and providing them with support for their business activities. It is now one of the main national players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, with around 5,500 members, 8 incubation and acceleration centres nationwide and five regional centres (North, Centre, Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, the Alentejo and the Algarve).
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