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The textile and fashion industry is a key contributor to global warming, accounting for 10% of global carbon emissions. This makes the industry the second largest industrial polluter after the oil and gas industry. Total emissions from textile production, at 1.2 billion tons annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. And it is not getting better: the United Nations framework convention on climate change expects the sector’s emissions to rise by more than 60% by 2030.
Africa is energy rich. Its solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power resources offer a remarkable opportunity to build low-carbon energy systems for all. Yet more than 640 million people, or two-thirds of the continent’s population, live without electricity.
The creative industries, particularly fashion and design, are evolving quickly and drawing career interest within African societies, politics and business. They are expected to provide well-paid jobs and help talented Africans to achieve their full potential. But as a fledgling industry, fashion faces key hurdles, such as establishing the basic infrastructure, gaining access to finance, and developing sales outlets.