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African eCommerce startup partners with Mastercard Foundation and DHL


2014 Tutu Fellows Isaac Kwaku Fokuo and Sam Mensah and 2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru are collaborating in a partnership between, Mastercard Foundation and DHL to create economic opportunities for young African creatives. Summarized, the site slogan is Beautiful things, made by Africa, delivered globally.  Ananse Africa, a startup ecommerce platform, launched in April in Johannesburg and Lagos, connecting African designers with local and international consumers.

The site says many African artisans, designers and artists face various challenges, making it difficult to transact with customers throughout the world.  Ananse Africa was set up to unlock the African creative economy, empower designers, merge tech and fashion; and most importantly, enable consumers from all over the world to shop online for beautiful pieces, from talented artisans, designers and artists throughout key African regions.

Company founder Sam Mensah says "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.” Ananse provides creative merchants with full support, including production training, quality assurance, online payments, order processing, and packaging.

Julie is the Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Mastercard Foundation. The Foundation seeks to enable young people in Africa and elsewhere access dignified and fulfilling work. Isaac has worked as an International Political Economy advisor to governments, investors, and global Fortune 500 companies on the nuances of navigating and expanding into emerging growth markets.  Sam Mensah is an renowned African fashion entrepreneur and advocate for the adoption of technology to address challenges facing the African continent and stimulate economic growth.

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 will enable shoppers to explore, get inspired, and enjoy the work of African fashion designers and artists in an engaging manner.

The Mastercard Foundation said that their partnership with Ananse will enable African fashion brands to sell more than one million garments over the next three years with 75% sourced from African suppliers and 70% participation from women. These volumes will provide a significant boost to the creative economy sector.

There's more on the venture at and you can watch their video about how the site simplifies global and local transactions for African designers, artists and artisans.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022

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