Press Release: Afreximbank and Development Reimagined Join Forces to help High-End, Sustainable African Brands enter Chinese Market

In continuation of its strategy to assist African businesses in increasing their presence in the international arena, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and international consultants Development Reimagined (DR) have entered into a partnership to promote the entry and sale of high-end sustainable African brands in the Chinese market.

Backstopped with an US$ 85,000 grant from Afreximbank, the partnership has seen Africa Reimagined (AR), a flagship programme created and managed by DR, introducing high-end, value-added “Made-in-Africa” goods from such sectors as fashion, skincare, and beverages, to China. The AR team organized a large booth and events at the 2023 China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) in Changsha from 29 June to 2 July, solidifying the partnership’s dedication to fostering China-Africa trade relations and seizing the opportunity to further leverage growth.

The outing achieved several unprecedented milestones, including:

  • Exhibition of the largest number of luxury African brands to date – from 10 in 2019 to 20, including Maxhosa and Jessica Jane, two unique and luxury South African fashion brands; Taibo Bacar, Nkanda Yetu and Larry Jay, sustainable fashion brands from Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana respectively; Skin Gourmet, a beautifully branded Ghanaian skincare company; Zaaf – a handcrafted luxury bags and leather brand from Ethiopia; Monks Gin, a South African gin company; Yenae – a stunning jewellery brand from Ethiopia; and many more. With just samples, the brands made sales amounting to over US$ 6,000 in the AR booth which was full from morning to evening with attendees that were blown away by the quality of the products;
  • Several brands successfully sold out their products and connected with many potential business partners to accelerate their entry into the Chinese market. For the first time, the participating fashion brands were invited to showcase in a fashion show and business match-making event. The skincare and beverage brands were invited to a business match-making and promotional event in the Gaoqiao China-Africa Free Trade Zone (FTZ) that led to the brands establishing strong connections with Gaoqiao and displaying their products in the FTZ for future business partnerships.
  • The brands participated in numerous media interviews with Chinese news agencies, such as CGTN, Mango TV, and China Financial News, in addition to an exclusive interview with the BBC World Service’s Focus on Africa Podcast with Skin Gourmet and DR CEO, Ms Hannah Ryder. The booth was also visited by dignitaries from Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal and more.

The Afreximbank-DR partnership marks a significant milestone in promoting trade and economic cooperation between Africa and China, said DR.

Noting that the Chinese consumer market, valued at US$6.3 trillion, was projected to experience substantial growth with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), DR reported that African exports to China amounted to US$117.5 billion in 2022, a remarkable 24-fold increase compared to 2000. With the AfCFTA, that figure is expected to rise even more rapidly.

The collaboration with Afreximbank is expected to include follow-up activities over the next six months to cement the sales and partnerships made at CAETE, testifying to the unwavering commitment of Afreximbank and DR to driving sustainable economic development in Africa through scaled-up and improved exports of #madeinAfrica products to China. By leveraging their respective networks, market insights, and financial capabilities, the partnership will facilitate fast-tracked and value-for-money entry into the Chinese market for African brands, thereby supporting the growth of African economies, contributing to job creation and fostering community development.

For further inquiries, please contact:

Rosie Wigmore

Programme Manager, Africa Reimagined

July 2023

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