AFRICAN Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the release of an intervention fund worth $500 million to support the production and trade of African cultural and creative products over the next two years.
Benedict Oramah, President of the Creative Africa Exchange Weekend- an event dedicated to promoting exchange within the creative and cultural industry held in Kigali said that the fund would be a framework upon which the bank can further develop its existing efforts within the region.
The money which will be accessible as lines of credit to banks, direct financing to operators and guarantees will be used to groom the pool of talent while breaching the infrastructural and capacity gap militating the sector and commercialise its creative talent to reap the vast fortunes thereof.
“Creative industries can be potent vehicles for more equitable, sustainable and inclusive growth strategies for African economies,” he said.
Oramah hailed the Nigerian film industry –Nollywood which has prompted the Nigerian government, in its Economic Recovery and Growth plan to forecast export revenues of $1billion from the industry by 2020.
However, he also described the African market as the “lowest hanging fruit for African creative products” while noting the recent changes that have happened for the African market.
“That market was fragmented and balkanised, such that a Senegalese knew more about creative products in France than in Ghana,” he said.
Just two weeks ago, the bank had struck a deal with Imo State under the now-ousted governor—Emeka Ihidioha to site the Africa Quality Assurance project in the state as a commercial hub that would provide certification and inspection services for various products for exports for Imo State and other parts of the region to the international market.