Fashion Agenda Africa (FAA) inked a partnership with Brand Kenya Board on Monday September 3 in a move aimed at boosting the growth of the local fashion industry and enhancing conversation between the sub-sector and government.
Part of the terms of the deal will see both parties engage in efforts to create awareness and encourage the habit among Kenyans to purchase and wear Made in Kenya fashion brands within the local and international market.
Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Kenya is currently the largest exporter of apparels with about Ksh35 billion worth of exports as of 2017.
Kenya’s fashion industry is believed to have the potential of creating over 300,000 jobs, according to a recent study by Hivos East Africa, Equity Bank Kenya, and the Association of Fashion Designers of Kenya (AFAD).
“The Human Development Index Report 2017 places Kenya’s unemployment rate at 39.1 per cent. The textile and apparels sector, if well invested in across the value chain, has the ability to create numerous jobs, given that it is labour intensive,” said Brand Kenya Board’s Acting CEO Ms. Floice Mukabana.
FAA founder Ms. Akinyi Odongo said the opportunity was there for upcoming fashion designers to be guided by experienced industry players. “Upcoming designers usually grope in the dark and lack support to be able to rise above the numerous challenges, more so because this is an industry that is still perceived as informal.”
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The partnership between FAA and Brand Kenya will run for an initial one year period. Terms of the agreement include cooperation in campaigns aimed to promote the fashion industry and national pride, the development of an online database for the industry, encourage young players into the industry and building, maintaining and marketing Kenyan brands locally, regionally and globally.