The Designed in Africa, Made in “Africa”, For the World” event, #MiAfrica2017, is an annual African art, culture and fashion showcase structured as a pop-up market and masterclass studio that took place under the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 in Durban, South Africa from 3rd to 5th of May, 2017.
Comprising of panel discussions, master classes, marketing &, networking events, #MiAfrica2017 was a gathering of local and international creative industry thought leaders as never before seen in South Africa. The showcase was held at the Durban Exhibition Centre, in close proximity to the WEF Africa proceedings at the ICC.
#MiAfrica2017 was inspired by the thinking that the World Economic Forum on Africa represents a great opportunity not only to once again shine a light on the potential of the African fashion industry, but also to highlight how arts and culture can be co-drivers of the continent’s creative economy.
This showcase is the second edition following the inaugural event, dubbed FashionFriday, a panel discussion and pop-up market that took place on the sidelines of WEF Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in 2016.
- #MIAFRICA2017 in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, Liberty and Kaya FM brought together some of the leading minds in South Africa’s fashion, contemporary art and cultural sectors to discuss the state and future of the country’s and the continent’s Creative and Cultural economy, and what this means for Africa’s future growth trajectory.
- In 2015 accounting firm EY published a study of the global cultural and creative industries http://www.worldcreative.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CulturalTimes_Summary_EN.pdf ) and found that they contribute USD 2,250 billion or 3% of global GDP. Africa and the Middle East combined accounted for USD 58 billion or 3% of the global total and 2,4 million of 29,5 million jobs which is 1% of the world’s active population.
- The launch event was attended by various dignitaries including government ministers and a cross-section of continental industry leaders. The Mayor of Durban, Zandile Gumede, was on hand to welcome guests.
- Panelists over the three days included Robin Miller Partner & Global ICT Leader at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Samuel Mensah Jr, founder of Kisua and African fashion online retail pioneer, Mandla Sibeko, founder of ArtLogic, managers of Africa’s biggest contemporary art fair, The Joburg Art Fair now in it’s tenth year, Fée Halsted of Ardmore, groundbreaking ceramic designer who’s works sell globally, Greg Maloka, CEO of Kaya FM, the biggest radio station in South Africa’s richest and most populous province, Gauteng, and Esther Mahlangu, renowned Ndebele artist and cultural icon.
- Exhibitors included Ardmore, Imbizo Fine Art Gallery of Ballito, Lux Noire Magazine Butter Pudding and Maxhosa by Laduma.
- The event was open to WEF Africa Delegates, partners and stakeholders who were able to utilize this creative space as a Lounge where they sampled and purchased the best of KZN and African creativity.
- A portion of tickets were allocated to Creatives and the General Public.
We propose the following Key Objectives for MiAfrica in the lead to the 2018 Showcase:
- Continue the conversation around Africa’s Creative and Cultural economy on and in various platforms and media.
- Look to develop a formal working relationship with South Africa’s Brand SA, Dalberg, AfDB’s Fashionomics platform and the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation’s Project Upscale.
- Partner with a continental broadcaster to develop quarterly events around the Cultural and Creative Economy in various African capital cities to deepen the MiAfrica network and take the message to a wider audience.
- Establish linkages with VCs looking to invest in sectors that will catalyst Africa’s economic growth over the next 50 years.
- Establish linkages with researchers and academics in Creative and Cultural economy to stay abreast of the latest critical thought, research and opinion.
- Develop #MiAfrica2018 into THE conference and exhibition for Africa’s creatives and everyone interested in future-proofing Africa’s economy.