Responsify spreads wings across Africa By James Ndone Responsify, a Swedish company founded by two entrepreneurs with a huge passion for Africa’s textile and leather industries is rapidly reaching out for new markets in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Madeleine Rosberg, the future is looking up for Africa as more international companies and investors are interested in production in the continent. Responsify assists international companies with sourcing, production and sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Through working with some of the biggest retailers in the world, we want to develop the textile and leather industry on the continent to become the next World Mecca for production,” says Ms Rosberg who is a Responsify co-founder with Stephanie Persson. Responsify has ongoing orders for clients in Ethiopia where the African head office is located, Kenya and Tanzania. The company is also eyeing new markets such as Uganda, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Mauritius in the future.
mills will be in need of the cotton that is currently exported from the continent as the industry is growing rapidly. Quality and certification based on CmiA (Cotton made in Africa) and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) are also important factors. Factories should be able to export BCI or CMIA cotton and add value to the raw materials. The Responsify CEO notes that there is a huge demand for quality cotton especially in Europe. The business infrastructure and network between the countries should also be enhanced further.
To a large extent, the governments are showing support to the industry since they are aware it can create much needed job opportunities.
Many big retailers have a growing interest in Africa over the last few years. Clearly, it is now upon players in the value chain to seize this opportunity and build on it. The buying coordination between countries needs to be improved. The continent’s nations should focus on making logistics more efficient, enhancing international business knowhow and efficiency, reducing bureaucracy and improving access to inventories and materials. Africa has the raw material and there is potential for international companies to buy from the continent. But the potential needs to be exploited to substitute imports from places such as Asia.
To a large extent, the governments are showing support to the industry since they are aware it can create much needed job opportunities. This should be sustained in order to keep and develop the interest from international companies. “In Ethiopia, an ongoing project with international stakeholders involving mapping of all cotton growing areas is meant to help improve the quality of Ethiopian cotton. Farmers will be introduced to the CmiA and BCI initiatives through the project,” Ms Rosberg adds.
Acording to Ms Rosberg, African textile
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“Africa can gain a lot from the cotton and textile industry. It is a labour intense industry and can give many people job opportunities. It can also attract other types of businesses to the continent such as suppliers of trims, printing and dyeing business, logistics, consultants, among others,” Ms Rosberg adds.
| FIBRE TO FASHION
Madeleine Rosberg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Responsify 19
Rising interest in Africa as a value addition destination