Google+

Africa May Become the Next China

 

Africa May Become the Next China

By Jeremy Bamidele

 

Traditionally, Africans remained offline and uninvolved in the digital world. This has made it virtually impossible for many companies to directly communicate with African markets. Consequently, companies have avoided the continent altogether.

With the proliferation of smartphones, Africans have suddenly become accessible via the Internet. With Facebook opening up its first office on the continent last year and Essence Magazine moving its flagship Essence Festival to South Africa; many companies are seeking to establish themselves in the new frontier. 

While Africa has long inspired the entertainment worlds of movies, tv, books, and fashion, its clout has not greatly benefited the continent. With Africans now online, the continent’s ability to monetize their newfound accessibility remains to be seen.

Africa, via apparel manufacturing, is particularly poised to take advantage of the opening of its markets. With a skilled workforce and money exchange values positioned in favor of foreign conglomerates, will Africa become the next China?

Africa has a very skilled workforce and a long history in apparel production, especially regarding difficult to find skills including hand beading and creating structural pieces. They also have some of the lowest prices on the most beautiful fabrics and prints in the world. 

Many large brands have opened up factories to import African fabrics to other countries where the pieces are sewn. Many consumers don’t even realize that the fabrics that make up their made in Italy gowns are actually from an entirely different continent.

But why do brands have their pieces sewn elsewhere when the human capital needed to generate the pieces is right where the resources are? The reason is partially PR related. Many consumers around the world have a preference for goods made in Italy and other European countries, especially western ones.

This is largely due to a perception that high exchange rates are indicative of a more skilled workforce that can produce higher quality goods. Even the Chinese elite is hesitant to spend high amounts on made in China designer apparel. 

The irony becomes that much of “Made in Italy” garments are not produced from textiles created by the old artisans that people believe, but rather by indentured servants from Asia and Africa. These are some of the only people left with the skill to do hand beading and other difficult maneuvers with the speed and finesse needed to produce a profit.

Africa will become a production powerhouse, but like China, its reputation as third-world country will likely continue to leave consumers with the idea that their products are second-rate.

Furthermore, “When we turn to places like Ethiopia where the wages are $21 a month, we’re not only taking advantage of that economy but we’re siphoning off the GDP of America,” said Gio Ferrigno Executive Producer of Fashion Week Los Angeles.

“It [the money] will never be put back into the economy.”

Africa, African markets, the new frontier, skilled workforce, production powerhouse, welcome to the digital world

Author Bio: Jeremy Bamidele is the Editor-in-Chief of both Los Angeles Entertainment News and LA Privy Magazine.

Entertainment

World War II Epic Recreates Flotilla’s Heroic Rescue of Stranded Allies

  Dunkirk Film Review by Kam Williams World War II Epic Recreates Flotilla's Heroic Rescue of Stranded Allies When Hitler ordered an all-out assault on the Western Front in the spring of 1940, the vaunted Maginot Line proved to be no match for the pulverizing German blitzkrieg. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France all fell in a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market

  Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market by Amy Lignor   What began as a “tiny” trend – which some called a “passing fad” at first – has become one of the largest growing industries in the U.S.A. in the 21st century; with records being broken in 2017.   Despite what you would call having a niche appeal, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

  Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt   Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the clothing that’s best for the winter and/or summer hunt – all of these things are on the hunter’s … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a Yankee hit a homerun. There are those who love to practically melt in the summer watching the Williams’ … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation

  The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation by Amy Lignor   When it comes to vacations people always think and worry about the locale. Where will they go? Does it have something for the kids? Are they looking at a camping trip, a historical location where they can treasure hunt through the museums, or simply that relaxing by … [Read More its Good for You...]