African Export-Import Bank based in Cairo, also known as Afreximbankis preparing to launch a $1 billion African Cinema Fund in 2024 to support the continent’s booming film industry.
Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank Intra-African Trade Bank, announced the initiative in the Canex 2023 keynote address (Creative Africa Nexus) in Cairo on Friday.
She said the fund would oversee film financing, co-finance with major studios, finance African filmmakers and finance producers and directors of film projects across the continent.
Awani noted that Afreximbank had already announced the doubling of the funding it was making available to the creative sector in Africa to $1 billion at the 2022 edition of Canex, and had currently invested $600 million dollars in film, music, visual arts, fashion and sports projects. .
“The very first film we financed recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival,” said Awani, adding: “The Bank has several in the works from Nigeria, South Africa and from Kenya, which are expected to be on streaming platforms in 2024.”
Awani said the film and audiovisual industries in Africa currently account for $5 billion of the African continent’s GDP and employ around five million people, with the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate $20 billion in income per year in the future.
She noted, however, that this sector faced several challenges, including limited access to financing and copyright violations due to weak copyright laws, enforcement mechanisms and lack of sensitization.
Other issues included infrastructure and technology gaps, lack of capacity and shortage of skilled professionals, and limited access to markets and international exposure, resulting in creative and African cultures often have difficulty making themselves known and accessing international markets.
In an earlier speech, German-Ghanaian actor Boris Kodjoe, whose credits include Grey’s Anatomy And Station 19said at the summit that African creativity was increasingly influential on the global stage, but that Africa faced branding problems due to external perception fueled by mainstream media’s portrayal of poverty, famine, civil wars and migration on the continent.
He said this could be about to change with growing demand for culture-specific global content and cited statistics suggesting that by 2030, Africa is expected to produce up to 10 percent of global exports of creative goods, worth around $200 billion, or 4% of African exports. GDP.
HE Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, echoed these sentiments in another speech.
“I reaffirm my belief that the African creative industry has enormous potential as a source of jobs and income to create the Africa we want – income from intra-African trade as well as income from the rest of the world “, did he declare.
Muchanga urged African countries to convert their “vast potential” into plans and projects that produce tangible results, stressing the need to also invest in the protection of international property rights.
Canex is an Afreximbank initiative aimed at supporting Africa and the creative and cultural industries of the African diaspora by providing financial and non-financial instruments to drive growth.
The seven days Canex Summit takes place as part of IATF2023, Africa’s largest trade and investment exhibition, which takes place from November 9 to 15 in Cairo.
The pan-African financial institution Afreximbank was established in 1993 under the auspices of the African Development Bank.
It is headquartered in Cairo and has regional offices in the capitals of Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Nigeria and Cameroon.