Ananse Africa, a pan-African e-commerce platform, has teamed up with Mastercard Foundation and DHL to support creative African entrepreneurs, including fashion designers and artists, to enable them to grow their businesses and reach local and international consumers.
Ananse Africa was launched on 1 April 2021, in Johannesburg and Lagos. Its slogan is “Made by Africa, Delivered Globally.” The company’s end-to-end payments and logistics solution provide a valuable plug-and-play e-commerce service to empower fashion designers and artists from across the African continent. The name “Ananse” is traceable to Ashanti folklore in Ghana.
With COVID-19 restrictions on physical retail and international travel, businesses are switching into the online space, and Ananse Africa sees an opportunity for local African entrepreneurs to reach a vast, international market. Ananse Africa provides African entrepreneurs with full support, including production training, quality assurance, online payments, order processing, and packaging.
The company now works with artists from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda. Customers around the world can purchase art, décor, clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories for men, women, and children.
“We are not only making it easy for consumers around the world to shop from fashion designers and artists across Africa but also making it straightforward for creatives to manage the payments and logistics functions necessary to complete an ecommerce order,” said the company’s founder Sam Mensah, a Ghanaian ex-Silicon Valley executive and fashion entrepreneur.
“The Mastercard Foundation partnership with Ananse will enable African fashion brands to sell over 1 million garments over the next three years with 75% sourced from African suppliers and 70% participation from women,” said Mastercard Foundation Country Head, Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson. “This will provide a significant boost to the creative economy sector.”
Leendert van Delft, DHL Vice-President for Global eCommerce, said: “For decades, we have pioneered solutions to meet the needs of artists, designers, retailers, and customers by making it our mission to provide these businesses with exceptional service that translates to a competitive edge. Through our collaboration with Ananse, we are delighted to offer fast and efficient international logistics solutions that have proven critical to countless startups over the years.”
Aside from the partnerships with Mastercard Foundation and DHL, Ananse Africa also has also announced that it is working with Trace TV to “promote the work of African fashion designers, artists, and artisans to its millions of viewers globally.”
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Uzoma Ihejirika is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. He is an editor for the AfroAnthology Series and a copy editor for Minority Africa and has written for Open Country Mag. He has a short story on Lolwe.