Ananse Africa, a Ghanian startup ecommerce platform, has today launched to connect African designers with local and international consumers and showcase the rich and diverse tapestry of Africa’s creative talent.
Ananse has operations in Lagos and Johannesburg and is being run by its founder Sam Mensah, a Ghanaian ex-Silicon Valley executive and fashion entrepreneur.
“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 Mensah.
Ananse aims to simplify international ecommerce payments and logistics for creative entrepreneurs on the continent and 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.
The startup 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.
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.
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.