Has Black Lives Matter Really Helped African Brands?

Has Black Lives Matter Really Helped African Brands?

The first week of June 2020 was a memorable one for AAKS designer Akosua Afriyie-Kumi. She woke up to hundreds of orders via her brand’s online store – an unprecedented sales volume in the six-year history of the handbag line.

“I knew the [Black Lives Matter] protests were happening, but I was wondering “why are people buying?” She remembers. “Then I realized that a lot of people were sharing listings of black-owned businesses online. From June to December [the sales] never stopped.

For AAKS, based in Ghana, direct online sales increased 700% in 2020 alone. From her home workshop in the city of Kumasi in the south of the country, the designer prepares orders that have been …

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