FIMA 2022: A successful edition in Rabat

Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the 14th edition of the International Festival of Fashion in Africa (FIMA) was held from December 7 to 10, 2022 at the historic site of Chellah in the city of Rabat, designated African Capital of Culture until May 2023, within the framework of the program “African Capitals of Culture” initiated by UCLG Africa and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, and the City of Rabat.

The FIMA 2022 was placed under the theme: “The Synergy of Cultures for the Development of Africa”.

The closing of the event was marked by the fashion show: “The Night of the 5 continents”, whose launch recorded the speeches of: Mrs. Débora Katisa Morais Brazao Carvalho, First Lady of Cape Verde and official sponsor of this 14th edition of FIMA, Mrs. Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat, Mr. Alphadi, founding president of FIMA, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

On the podium, the creations of the biggest names in African fashion followed one another, including those of “the magician of the desert” Alphadi, the Senegalese Collé Ardo Sow, the Beninese Félicien Castermann, the Tunisian Olfa Mehaoued or the Moroccan Amal Belcaid.

People came in large numbers to attend the awards in the six categories that were in competition.  The TOP Female Model trophy went to Morocco, and that of the TOP Male Model to Ivory Coast.

The Young Designer Competition was won by Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo was the winner of the Best Jewelry (Accessories) Competition. The winner of the Best Leather Goods Competition was Cape Verde, while the winner of the Best Textile Competition was Niger.

“Nearly 2,000 people participated in this edition, which offered a rich program to festival-goers, including not only fashion shows, but also performances, exhibitions and round tables on important themes,” said Alphadi.

The first lady of Cape Verde has called for an ecological innovation in creation. “Culture has the power to unify Africa and start a new era. I call on young designers to take more and more into consideration the environment in order to propose eco-responsible collections. We do not want a fashion that pollutes the world Africa”; said Ms. Débora Katisa Morais Brazao Carvalho.

For the Secretary General of UCLG Africa: “The organization of FIMA as part of the celebration of -Rabat, African Capital of Culture- would like to send a strong signal on the importance of the professions of fashion, design, and creation to affirm the image and place of Africa in a world where its market share in the creative industries is to conquer; and to invite the populations and decision-makers of the continent to measure the potential of this sector to contribute to the creation of wealth, employment and positioning of Africa in a market of fashion and design in full remodeling.”

The opening of FIMA on December 7, 2022, was marked by the presence of: the representative of HEM Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Minister of Culture of Morocco, the Nigerian Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, HEM Hassane Barazé Moussa, the Ambassador of Niger in Morocco, HEM Salissou Ada, and the UNESCO representative for the Maghreb, Mr. Eric Falt. Many personalities from Africa and other continents made the trip like Olivia Yacé, Miss Ivory Coast 2021 and second runner-up of the Miss World 2022 contest, Rebecca Ayoko, former muse of Yves Saint-Laurent, and Noémie Lenoir, model who collaborated with Gucci and L’Oreal.

Three round tables were held during the Festival, around the following topics:

Culture and Education ; Culture, Economy and Financing ; and Protection of Works and Intellectual Property

Eminent panelists took part in the debates. Speakers included Célestin Monga, economist and professor at Harvard University, Hicham Lahlou, international designer and interior architect, founder of the Africa Design Award&Days project (ADA & ADD), Eugène Ébodé, writer, academic and journalist, Administrator of the Chair of African Literature and Arts at the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, and Lotfi Aoulad, Program Manager at UNESCO for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The rich exchanges allowed to align on the 3 objectives targeted by the FIMA:

• Promote the emergence of a fashion and arts industry in the service of development

• Capitalize on traditional African craftsmanship

• Develop hubs of the Fashion, Arts and Culture industry in Africa, to make them places of reference for the global market of culture, arts and creative industries.

As a reminder, “Rabat, African Capital of Culture” has a triple ambition: (1) to be a showcase for the influence of Africa’s cultural heritage and creativity, so that Africa regains its full place in the plural cultural heritage of humanity; (2) to promote the adoption of cultural policies within African local authorities to make culture the fourth pillar of sustainable development, to relay national cultural policies at the level of the territories, and to develop new mutually beneficial relationships between local authorities and professionals in the field of culture, the arts and the creative industries ; (3) to contribute to the emergence of a network of cultural centres in Africa that can stimulate the production of cultural works and creative activities, and to be regular meeting places for Africa to become a more important part of the global market for arts, culture and creative industries, which is currently estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion per year, with Africa accounting for only 1% of this global market.