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THE ABLONI AFFAIRS: THE ICT EMPOWERMENT OF THE RECYCLED CLOTHES BUSINESS IN AFRICA

Abstract

Impoverished people of Africa and especially of Togo lack a lot of basic needs including: proper
education, foods, electricity, and access to healthcare and wearable clothes. In order to tackle this issue
of the unavailability of clothes in particular, second hand clothes collected from the north are recycled
and sent to the south for the alleviation of the problems faced by the people of Africa where poverty is
wide spread even though several economic progress have been registered nowadays. Unfortunately these
garments sent to the poor in Africa become commodities that establish huge business transactions held
mostly by the African diaspora. This business is feeding its actors and provides nonetheless cheaper
clothes to their customers. However it causes several difficulties to the local retailing business in term
of competition with the new garment sellers, the health issues, the overcrowding of the Hedzranawoe
Market where the business is mostly based in Lomé, Togo and the risk of its closure as planned some
African countries government. In order to sort out these issues and easier the running of the second
hand clothes business, a virtual garments shopping center is proposed as solution based on the concept
of People.net, the knowledge transfer through ICT infrastructure and its extensions either as a link
integrated on the People.net Platform or a mobile application which could be accessed by all the
actors based on the fact that Mobile phone is used by the overwhelming population of Africa and is
considered nowadays as the first communication path throughout the continent. However an adaption
to the African culture of orality and symbols should be carefully considered in order to support the
usability of the above stated virtual shopping place platform to be developed.