Entertainment of Wednesday, 12 October 2016
The 3rd Quarterly Panel Discussion organised by Fashion Forum Africa (FFA) came off successfully on Thursday, 29th September, 2016 at British Council in Accra. The event brought together stakeholders across the country from the fashion industry to discuss topical issues relevant to the growth of the fashion industry.
In her opening address, Ms Makeba Boateng, CEO of Fashion Forum Africa expressed the critical need for such platforms to dialogue and deliberate on issues and topics of interest to improve the fashion industry in Ghana and across Africa.
She stressed on the commitment of FFG to collaborate with Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to lead the path in creating platforms to share ideas and dialogue for the said course; following the debut of the Panel Discussion in March.
The 3rd Quarterly Panel Discussion took a look at the risky side of fashion business, with emphasis on how start-ups can access funding from investors and microfinance institutions to invest in their operations. The discussion also exploited alternate means of funding for start-up fashion companies.
The panel comprised Papa Oppong, a fashion designer/Illustrator and in-house designer at studio 189), Mrs. Linda Ampah, CEO, Cadling Fashions, Miss Pearl Nkrumah Head of Enterprise Banking- Stanbic Bank and Mr. Maxwell Osei Kusi, Director, Research and Information Division – Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
Mrs. Linda Ampah who has over 20 years experience in the garment industry, said there are several segments of designs in the fashion industry and one had to focus on what to produce. She stressed on the fact that start ups should constantly re-engineer their designs and take into cognisant what the market demands are, ask all the questions, especially the financial challenges involved and also get all the necessary information needed before embarking on the textiles and apparels journey.
Miss Pearl Nkrumah who spoke on the risks involved in supporting fashion designers financially, noted that due to the many risks in investment, financial institutions mostly look out for the product in question, marketing strategies, continuity and ways to mitigate risks among others. She added that the bank’s role was not only to give loans but also to offer advice for starters in the industry and urged designers to call on the bank for such help.
Mr Maxwell Osei Kusi, said GEPA’s duty is to search for markets and make information available to those who engage in mass production and exports. He added that the information given to exporters was sometimes risky since the dynamics and trends keeps changing and urged the exporters in the fashion and creative arts industry to seek help from alternative sources of support.
Ms Esther Armah, the 2016 Community Healer Award winner for Visionary and Inspiring Quest for Emotional Justice via her radio show The Spin was the Moderator. She was at her best as she directed the discussions for participants mostly professionals and beginners in the fashion industry to appreciate what the topic sought to achieve.
Key industry players present at the event included 2015 award winner for best fashion brand in Ghana and CEO of Heel the World Fred Deegbe, Founder of Charlotte Prive label, Nana Kwame Adusei, a fashion Lawyer Vivian Duker, R&B Musician Rhian Benson and many more.
Fashion Forum Ghana (FFG), in its efforts to formalize, educate and build the fashion industry in Ghana as a significant and reputable national resource amongst the Arts and Culture in Ghana looks forward to another successful event upcoming on the 1st of December, 2016 which amongst other discussions will showcase various styles from West African countries.