Awura Abena Agyeman, an entrepreneur in Ghana’s growing fashion industry, has described the country and continent as a place of great business potential with a lot of positives worth celebrating.
“In about 20 years Africa is going to have one of the largest workforce, this is one of the things that are worth celebrating, it is not China, it is not India, it is here in Africa. We are going to be able to change the narrative because we will have the largest workforce.
Fashion also is a three trillion-dollar industry and in Sub-Saharan Africa alone the market is worth about 30 billion dollars. The opportunities for business are huge and it’s not just in fashion”, said Awura Abena Agyeman, co-founder of Wear Ghana.
Despite all these opportunities, the fashion entrepreneur however felt that Ghanaian’s are not focusing on these potentials enough. Rather they are still hooked onto the idea of extending businesses and securing partnerships only outside Africa without establishing firmly within the continent.
“Usually people ask, ‘oh are you exporting’ and if they learn that you are exporting within Africa then they are not impressed at all. We prefer to associate ourselves with foreigners and foreign ideas to be seen in a certain way.”
The young entrepreneur shared these thoughts during a discussion with business leader, Lucy Quist. The two discussed how startups can scale up their businesses during a Facebook Live series – Conversations in Boldness – which gives young people a platform to share their thoughts and experiences in innovation and business.
To create prosperity for Africa through its potential, Awura Abena suggested that Africans must charter a new path for themselves, one that is self-determined and not based on foreign expectations and definitions.
“We as Africans need to define what success means and what being cool means, so if in the past I had to wear something made elsewhere to be cool, today’s African must understand the urgency with which we have to change this. We must raise examples of what it means to be prosperous and celebrate who we are as Africans.
It is our time to change the Africa that the world knows, there is an increased interest in Africa that we should take advantage of because this is our time”, She said.
Awura Abena and her business partner Angorkor Nai-Kwade founded Wear Ghana in 2014. In addition to its core business of making people look their best, the fashion line consciously seeks to change the narrative on all things African, by proving that “African” is not synonymous to inferior. The fashion line makes one of Ghana’s most popular retail collections; the GIGI.
Conversations in Boldness are in line with Lucy Quist’s ‘Bold New Normal’ idea which seeks to inspire Africans to collectively create prosperity for their countries and the continent by stepping away from the usual and taking up new ambitious ventures.