AFWN 2016: Reviving the Fashion Industry

imageAfrican Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) kicked off with the opening conference “Textile and Garment Manufacturing Conference”, Friday July 1. The conference aimed to improve job creation in the fashion industry, tackle challenges in the manufacturing industry, and enhance the functionality of the supply value chain and workforce.

Panel of fashion industry experts. Photo/Author provided; Ben Effiong
Industry experts. Photo/Author provided; Ben Effiong

As I took my seat in the audience I could not help but notice that the event was graced with the presence of distinguished speakers and panelists including Mrs. Aisha Abubakar (The Honorable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment), Dr. Johannes Flosbach (Head of performance management group, TGI group), Mr. Akintunde Oyebode (Office of the Lagos State Governor, Special Adviser for Job Creation); Ms. Jennifer Anoyika (Director General, Nigerian – German Business Association, NGBA), and Dr. Mustapha Akinwunmi (Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State). As well as Mr. Kwajaffa ( Director General Nigerian Textiles Manufacturers Association and Tailoring Employers Association), Ms. Doris Onwugamba (Managing Director, Manufacturers Resource Center; Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mrs. Folake Oyemade (MD Sam and Sara), and Chioma Nwagboso (Advisor on Public Private Partnerships for German International Corporation).

The event had three different sections, each targeting a specific angle in the fashion industry. Minister Aisha Abubakar used the opportunity to assure the participants and stakeholders of the fashion industry that the government is working towards the revival of the garment and textile sector in a bid to promote the “BuyNaija” “SellNaija” campaign, although, some other speakers said the government is not doing enough for the sector. Some panelists spoke of the challenges the industry is currently facing in Nigeria and how to surmount those challenges.

The Bank of Industry‘s representative present at the event made it known that the bank has a financing scheme of one billion naira for entrepreneurs.