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Creating African-based E-fashion Platforms

Thirty-two-year-old Gambian economist Marie Ba used to buy most of her clothes online from British fashion retailer ASOS. But when she wanted to update her closet with some tailored wax print African dresses, she took a chance ordering through Ghana’s KIKI Clothing platform. “I was looking for something well designed and fitted, and it’s lovely to support brands based in West Africa, while looking quite unique in their pieces,” she says. Within five working days the clothes were delivered by DHL from Accra, to her door in Gambia’s largest city, Serekunda. And Ba became part of a growing ecosystem of fashionistas purchasing their clothes within the expanding African e-fashion market. Sub-Saharan Africa’s clothing and footwear market is worth $31bn, according to Euromonitor. The growth has prompted the expansion of foreign and local brands into the African clothing market. Companies are fulfilling increasing orders from the African diaspora, particularly in Europe and America, while sales of Ankara gowns and African print dresses are also popular among non-African consumers.