In the 1960s, a small group of Malian women cloth dyers reinvigorated the craft of hand-dyed cloth using a fabric called bazin. Now, thanks to microcredit programs introduced in the mid-1980s, bazin production has flourished into a lucrative enterprise dominated by women. Their artistic creativity has become a force for alleviating poverty and affirming identity in West Africa.
When there are chores to be done during the day and it's dark in the evening, children find it difficult to learn. But Malian entrepreneur Daniele Dembele is bringing electricity to remote rural areas, so local schools can light their classrooms long into the night.
African fashion entrepreneurs are attempting to breath new life into Mali's declining cotton industry. Mali is one of the largest countries in Africa and also one of the poorest; the country is dependent on money from cotton to pay for food and basic social services like schools and housing. But could traditional cloth-making skills hold the key to a more prosperous future?