Africa’s fashion industry is growing rapidly and has currently received a lot of international attention due to this. However, there is a lack of a structure that connects education with the industry, which leaves the sector unregulated and students without resources. For the industry to thrive more than it already is, there is a need for an education council.
Here are five reasons why we believe Africa needs a Fashion Education Council:
There is a great talent and fantastic fashion opportunities available on the continent; however, what prevents these opportunities from coming to fruition is the lack of a consistent educational structure. Implementing structure will bring forth institutional funding, job opportunities, profitable businesses, more vital institutions, and scholarly activity, which builds the African fashion ecosystem.
Collaboration is essential, especially in the fashion industry where the quote 'it's not what you know, but who you know is relevant. Creating partnerships within the fashion industry is vital. Institutions should feature guest lecturers from the industry and have them offer internships and employ students after graduation. Institutions need to provide student exchange programmes, co-create curriculums, and share their expertise to compete with the international fashion education scene. Overall, there's incredible talent on the continent, but there is room for improvement, opportunities to be explored, and new industry sectors to be developed.
Developing structure and joining forces with complementary fashion companies should be African fashion institutions top priority. New opportunities would lead to more interest from students wanting to study on the continent, access to international fashion competitions and opportunities to tap into exclusive resources. Opportunities also contribute to economic development.
Analytics are essential for sustaining a profitable fashion business. Institutions should introduce fashion analytical courses to ensure students are ready for the business side of the fashion industry. With the growing popularity of fashion design degrees, consider offering fashion analytics to complement the design process.