Ananse.com Partners with the Mastercard Foundation and DHL to Connect 1,000 African Fashion Designers and Artists to Global Markets

Afro soul singer wearing an outfit from KISUA, one of the African fashion brands available on the ananse.com marketplace for African creatives
1 April 2021
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Mastercard Foundation (Africa)

Lagos, Nigeria; Johannesburg, South Africa — Beautiful things, made by Africa, delivered globally. This is how best to summarize Ananse Africa, a startup ecommerce platform, launched today, in Johannesburg and Lagos, connecting African designers with local and international consumers. The platform showcases the rich and diverse tapestry of Africa's creative talent and simplifies international ecommerce payments and logistics for creative entrepreneurs on the continent.

Ananse has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation and logistics market leader DHL, to roll out the 'most comprehensive, pan-African ecommerce platform' to support creative entrepreneurs like fashion designers and artists to enable them to grow their businesses.

"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. This will provide a significant boost to the creative economy sector,said Mastercard Foundation Country Head, Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson.

This valuable business tool will enable artists, fashion designers, artisans, and small businesses along the fashion and art value chains, conduct trade and expand their businesses, leveraging the power of the internet in a cost-effective way. With countries around the world imposing COVID-19 restrictions on physical retail and international travel, consumers are increasingly switching to online shopping, resulting in a sizeable decrease in the revenues of small businesses like tailors and fashion designers.

"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.

Ananse's ecommerce and POS solution is simplifying trading in both the physical and digital worlds for creative entrepreneurs in Africa. Ananse provides creative merchants with full support, including production training, quality assurance, online payments, order processing, and packaging. The technology solution aims to solve the key problems that prevent African fashion designers, artisans, and artists from being commercially viable and successful.

Timepiece' by Themba Shabalala (Simuka Art Gallery), on of the many artists available of the ananse.com marketplace for African creatives

Speaking at the Ananse launch, Leendert van Delft, DHL Vice-President for Global eCommerce spoke of the company's experience as the fashion retail and art industry's leading global logistics partner. "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," said van Delft.

Furthermore, Ananse announced that it has also formed a strategic media partnership with Trace TV to promote the work of African fashion designers, artists, and artisans to its millions of viewers globally. Curated content on ananse.com will enable shoppers to explore, get inspired, and enjoy the work of African fashion designers and artists in an engaging manner.

About Ananse

Ananse is a startup ecommerce platform that enables consumers from around the world to shop online from fashion designers' artists and artisans from across the African continent. The company's end-to-end payments and logistics solution provides a valuable plug-and-play ecommerce service to creative entrepreneurs in Africa enabling them to trade globally and grow their businesses. Experience the platform at ananse.com.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.  It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

For Media Inquiries:

Sipho Tiso
Info@growthmedia.co.za

Nonye Mpho Omotola
Mastercard Foundation
Country Lead, Program Communications, Nigeria
Nomotola@mastercardfdn.org

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