WHAT IS ARTISANS IN AFRICA (AIA)?

AIA is a curated digital African marketplace for artisanal products and experiences, that works to raise the value of select, widespread artisanal commodity products in Africa. We showcase and sell these products and the artists’ stories to the world via our centralized digital asset at www.artisans.africa. AIA is in the business of ecosystem aggregation (grassroots artisans), logistics (moving products from rural to a global market) and education (training our artisans in design and business best practice).

WHY IS AIA’S WORK IMPORTANT?

Africa’s Artisan Economy is the 2nd highest employer on the continent; 2nd only to agriculture. There are thousands of artisans already working in Africa on a daily basis. Yet, majority of this important sector are not in the formal economy. With product design guidance and education, these grassroots artisans are capable of creating remarkable products that will take advantage of this opportunity. Through ecosystem aggregation and data collection, they too can become part of the formal, global economy. 

Because [artisan businesses] are local, revenue from sales circulates within the community generating more benefits rather than being siphoned off into distant corporate headquarters and shareholders.

Routlege Handbook Of Sustainable Design

AIA’S first video story was showcased on Discovery Channel Africa. Discovery did not showcase the video because of the product directly. They were more interested in the story of Sithaidi. Indirectly, what Sithaidi does; her aspirations, her talent and legacy is what we share with the world, so that anyone who purchases her beadwork, knows the value of what the purchase adds to Sithaidi. This is the level of impact storytelling can have on business visibility. We will continue to use storytelling as a major part of our strategy.

AIA’S first video story was showcased on Discovery Channel Africa. Discovery did not showcase the video because of the product directly. They were more interested in the story of Sithaidi. Indirectly, what Sithaidi does; her aspirations, her talent and legacy is what we share with the world, so that anyone who purchases her beadwork, knows the value of what the purchase adds to Sithaidi. This is the level of impact storytelling can have on business visibility. We will continue to use storytelling as a major part of our strategy.

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