With multitudes of manufacturers and trade professionals ready to descend to the capital, the 4th African Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW) is set to start on Monday at the Millennium Hall. The four-day event is expected to have a record number of manufacturers, exporters and investors attracted to the nations promising textile and garment industry which has managed to lure multinationals to its industrial parks throughout the nation.
This year, with over 4,000 trade professionals from the cotton, textile, apparel, leather and home décor sectors, including the world’s brand name trendsetter company, Ralph Lauren; over 250 manufacturers from 25 countries are expected to be in attendance.
According to the organizers, this year’s gathering has grown by more than 30 percent in exhibitors and more than five percent in expected delegates. Supported by the Government of Ethiopia and GIZ — the development arm of the German Foreign Ministry — the exhibition is to be a hub for neighboring nations and attract investors to what has been a booming industry for South Asian nations such as Bangladesh and Pakistan and now being emulated in the region.
This is the first-of-its-kind event within Ethiopia; it attempts to link the main actors of the industry to local producers.
This year, via its “Walk For Business initiative,” it will feature local designers, including the bag designer, Meron Seid of Leather Exotica. Her designs are to complement two dozen other African designers from the continent and have them explore future collaborations from players in the industry and expose them to the international mainstream market.
Organized by the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, the Ethiopia Textile Development Institute, the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association; the conference will also include a number of events, including: an investment panel with specific investment opportunities among four African countries including those of Ethiopia, Mauritius, Madagascar and Kenya with a high-level government representatives as speakers, a tour of Ethiopia’s growing industrial parks and a fashion show at Hilton Addis.