Call for Expression of Interest: Exploratory study on the African fashion and textile industry

Call for Expression of Interest: Exploratory study on the African fashion and textile industry

This call is for an individual expert

Introduction

This call for expressions of interest is for an individual expert to conduct an exploratory study outlining the mains trends, challenges and opportunities faced by the fashion and textile industry in Africa, as part of the work conducted by UNESCO on cultural and creative industries and in line with the Organisation’s Global Priority Africa.

 

Background

As part of its commitment to the diversity of cultural expressions and in view of fostering dynamic creative industries in developing countries, UNESCO is launching an exploratory study to map the African fashion and textile industry, including its interactions and contributions to international fashion, and to gather data and information to identify the challenges, needs and opportunities for the development of this strategic sector.

Cultural and creative industries are among the fastest growing sectors in the world and can be effective drivers of sustainable and inclusive economic and social development. As underlined in UNESCO’s 2022 flagship report Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity, exports of cultural goods and services have doubled in value between 2005/2006 and 2019, and this growth is expected to continue despite the setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this sustained growth, the participation of developing countries in global flows of cultural goods has stagnated accounting for only 5 % of total exports.

The fashion and textile industry is the second-largest sector after agriculture in Africa, with an estimated market value of $31 billion in 2020 and growing every year, with the potential of creating jobs for millions across the continent, especially for women and youth.[1] Persistent issues such as lack of investment and infrastructure,  weakness of vocational training, brand development and protection, difficulties accessing new markets and challenges linked to  ecological, ethical and sustainable factors are affecting the sector’s development, but their impact are not yet fully documented and understood.

As the only United Nations agency with a mandate in the field of culture, UNESCO is committed to harnessing the power of cultural and creative industries for sustainable development. In the framework of the Organisation’s ongoing research activities in the field of culture and creativity, the Diversity of Cultural Expressions’ Entity is launching a call for proposals for individual experts to draft a report that will map the fashion and textile industry on the African continent. On the basis of desk research and interviews with the industry’s main stakeholders, the individual expert will be responsible for providing a comprehensive, yet concise overview of the sector’s current status, and outline perspectives to support its future growth. This analysis will feed a high-level workshop with key industry players, with the objective of drawing up a roadmap for the development of the sector and to accompany the States in the implementation of tailored policies and initiatives.

 

Objective

On the basis of desk research and interviews, the individual expert will write a report that provides an analytical overview of the African fashion and textile industry, including its interactions and contributions to international fashion, and gather data and information to identify the challenges, needs and opportunities for the development of this strategic sector.

In the drafting of this report, the individual expert will pay due consideration to every step of the value chain, from design to production and distribution, and give particular attention to the employment of women and youth in the sector. It is expected that he/she will outline the main regional and sub-regional trends as well as highlight promising results and identify innovative initiatives or measures continent that have meaningfully contributed to the sustainable and inclusive growth of the fashion and textile industry in Africa.

On the basis of this analysis, the individual expert will provide insights for the development of the sector and outline the main opportunities and areas for policy action to ensure that it can reach its full potential.

The report should be written in a clear and concise way for an informed audience, avoiding jargon or specialized terminology.

 

Scope of work

 The individual expert will be responsible for:

  1. Carrying out a desk review of existing studies and initiatives conducted by intergovernmental organizations, governments, research centres, cultural institutions, universities and others about the fashion and textile industry in Africa,

  2. Gathering additional data on the fashion and textile industry in Africa, principally by carrying out interviews with the industry’s main stakeholders,

  3. Providing a thorough but concise analysis of the current state of the fashion and textile industry in Africa, highlighting innovative or inspiring initiatives and outlining perspectives for the sector’s future development,

  4. Drafting a concept note for the organisation of a high-level workshop on the fashion and textile industry in Africa, during which an action plan will be defined to identify ways forward to support the inclusive and sustainable development of the sector.

 

Qualification requirements

The individual expert should have solid experience and a good record of accomplishments in international research and analysis of cultural policies and measures. Demonstrable regional and subject expertise, including research experience and/or peer-reviewed publications on the fashion and textile industry in Africa, will be considered an asset.

The expert must be able to consult sources of information in English and French. The ability to consult information sources in additional languages of the African continent will be considered an asset.

 

Proposal

The individual expert should include in his/her proposal:

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae, including a list of relevant publications and research achievements

  • A detailed presentation of the proposed approach, strategy and methodology that would be adopted to carry out this assignment, including any inputs that may be required from UNESCO and a proposed timeline

  • The contact information of three references for similar research projects

  • A financial proposal, broken down by deliverable and quoted in US dollars. If an amount is included for the purchase of data, please include the sources being considered. Any travel requirements should be expressed in a separate proposal and quoted in US dollars.

Proposals should be submitted in English or French.

 

Deliverables

  1. A detailed outline of the report, including a list of pertinent initiatives currently undertaken in this field and a desk-review of existing research, as well as a list of background interviews to be conducted, for review by the UNESCO Secretariat.

  2. A full draft of the report, for review by the UNESCO Secretariat

  3. The final draft of the report, including an action plan proposal to support the fashion and textile sector in Africa, of 25-30 standard UNESCO pages (excluding annexes) and an executive summary of less than one page.

  4. A detailed concept note (5-7 pages) for a high-level workshop with the main actors and stakeholders of the fashion and textile industry in Africa, with the aim to examine ways to move forward based on the report.

  5. The revised final report, taking into account relevant inputs from the workshop.

 

Timeframe

The Contractor shall submit to UNESCO, in electronic format, the following:

  1. On or before 16 May 2022, the detailed outline of the report, desk-review and list of interviewees

  2. On or before 25 June 2022, the draft report

  3. On or before 25 July 2022, the final report

  4. On or before 25 July 2022, the detailed concept note for the high-level workshop.

  5. On or before 25 October, the revised final report

Expressions of interest should be submitted by email, clearly indicating “Report on the fashion and textile industry in Africa” to  convention2005.call@unesco.org

Closing Date of Applications: 22 April 2022 2 may 2022 (EXTENDED)

 

Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention