Roberta Annan’s African Fashion Fund, ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative partner to Launch a New Investment Fund for Africa

The Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) in collaboration with the African Fashion Fund (AFF) will announce a partnership to launch the Impact Fund For Africa (IFFA) worth £100 million on November 12.

The Impact Fund For Africa is a new investment fund supporting African creatives working in the fashion and lifestyle industries

Launching in Paris during the Paris Peace Forum, an initiative by French President Emmanuel Macron, with the attendance of over 84 Heads of States, The United Nations Secretary General and many dignitaries, the proposed fund will address the investments needed to leverage the power of creative and cultural industries to expand the social capital of Sub-Saharan African countries and thus contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well promote inclusive growth in these economies.

Showcasing its expected direct impact and potential, Madam 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 ) are expected to be present.

Activities lined up for the launch include a unique fashion show featuring three leading African designers on the November 13 at 13h00 which will be followed by an interactive pitch at Space for Solutions led by Madam Annan together with the Director for Peace and People at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, Madam Henriette GEIGER, 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;
  • Sophie Zinga – a socially conscious womenswear brand featuring hand-woven Senegalese cloth and semi precious stones;
  • Chocolate by Kwaku – Chocolate by Kwaku Bediako – A Ghanaian fashion brand which draws inspiration from the rich Ghanaian culture, lifestyle, taste and preferences.

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.

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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.

AFF Founder, Roberta Annan says: “I am thrilled about this partnership with the EFI. I believe it will give African brands the indispensable funding and resources to participate competitively in the global fashion economy. We are also in good contact with the European Commission, key partner of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, to identify possible way of cooperation with their new strategy to support investment in Africa and into the creative sector.


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.”

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.

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About African Fashion Fund

The African Fashion Fund, part of the Roberta Annan Capital Partners (RACP), focuses on education and capacity building for African brands. RACP is a registered Mauritius Company with subsidiaries to be registered in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Luxembourg. RACP focuses on Wealth Management and Impact investments. It has an Impact Investment portfolio, Frallain Group, a UK registered entity that provides risk capital to African brands and incorporates social impact within their brands ethos, providing a platform with industry experts in fashion, sales and distribution, PR and communication for the commercialization of these brands.


About the Ethical Fashion Initiative

The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation. The Initiative’s main projects in Burkina Faso, Mali and in Afghanistan are supported by the European Union. The Ethical Fashion Initiative enables artisans living in urban and rural poverty to connect to top luxury lifestyle brands. The Initiative also works with the rising generation of fashion talent from Africa, encouraging the forging of fulfilling creative collaborations with artisans on the continent. 2019 will mark the beginning of a new and innovative EU funded project, in Central Asia, East and West Africa building on the experience and methodology of Ethical fashion, under the new brand name of Identity Building and Sharing Business initiative (IBSBI).


About the Paris Peace Forum

The Paris Peace Forum is an independent NGO, formed in 2018 following an original impetus came from President Macron in the summer of 2017. The first edition of the Paris Peace Forum (11-13 November 2018) will be inaugurated by Heads of State and Government, or their representatives, from the 84 countries invited by the President of the French Republic to participate in the commemorations alongside other political leaders invited for the occasion.

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