The funding package by the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) in support of Africa’s creative industries has doubled to about $1 billion, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, Benedict Oramah, has disclosed.
Oramah who spoke at the Creative Africa Nexus Weekend (CANEX WKND) for the cultural and creative industries in Africa and the Diaspora in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, said the funding package was dedicated to Africa’s creative industries under the auspices of the CANEX programme.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day event on Friday, Oramah said the package was a follow-up to the $500 million facility announced by the Bank in 2020 to support Africa’s creative and cultural industry.
The Bank, Oramah said, has been able to support the industry significantly through the facility which, he said, was now nearly fully utilized.
The decision to double the size of the facility support to the creative industries to $1 billion for implementation over the next three years to 2025 was to maintain and sustain the momentum and impact initiated by the original facility.
“We hope that the experience we gained implementing the original facility will enable us to provide the industry with a more efficient solution that can grow your business further. We expect to use this facility to support our talented youth,” said Oramah.
“The facility finances all activities in the creative and cultural industry value chain, from content production to distribution. It supports the development of infrastructure for content creation, product design, distribution, logistics, and acquisition of intellectual property. Creative and cultural activities covered include sports, fashion, music, movies, art, including performance art, media and technology.”
So far, he said the Bank’s culture and creative industry support facility has assisted film production, in some cases in partnership with Netflix, adding that it has also provided lines of credit to some African banks to support commercial creative activities.
“It is also supporting the production of garments, through the financing of factories and outlets. The pipeline of deals also includes support for the development of sports arenas and gaming technology commercialization,” he said.
As part of its efforts to support Africa’s cultural and creative industries, Oramah said AFREXIMBANK also set up a $100 million venture capital fund to which the Bank would contribute $25 million.
Again, to address the lack of institutions on the continent that can support the commercialisation of African intellectual property rights, the AFREXIMBANK President said the bank has formed and registered CANEX Creations Incorporated, an entity that would support the protection and commercialisation of African intellectual property rights.
“The days when African creatives intellectual property is taken advantage of by the rest of the world will soon be over, and we will see a new dawn of global creative brands emerging from the continent,” Oramah said.
“CANEX Creations Incorporated will help generate intellectual property in the creative and cultural industry, ensure that they are legally protected, support the negotiation of the use and commercialization as well as distributing compensations when received.
“The vehicle will draw on the Venture Capital Fund to make strategic investments in the production and talent incubation, marketing and distribution of creative content on the continent,” he added.
Outlining the Bank’s ongoing work towards supporting the industry, Oramah highlighted the “AFREXIMBANK CANEX Presents Africa” initiative which enables African Designers to showcase their products at international fashion platforms, including the Portugal Fashion Week Runway show and in sales rooms at the Tranoï tradeshow at Paris Fashion Week, giving them access to global audiences, retail buyers, wholesalers, and global media.
Organised by AFREXIMBANK in partnership with the government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, CANEX WKND brought together about 3 000 cultural and creative talents, as well as investors, industry leaders, government representatives, and the media from Africa and the Diaspora, at the Palais des Congrès of Hôtel Ivoire.
CANEX WKND is one of the major components of AFREXIMBANK’s implementation of its CANEX Programme, a multidimensional initiative aimed at supporting and developing African cultural and creative industries.