African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has put in place a Creative Africa Advisory Group to guide the implementation of the Bank’s Strategy to support the growth and emergence of Africa’s creative and cultural industries.
Under its Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank has developed a program named “Creative Africa Nexus” which is a one stop shop for the Creative and Cultural Industries, for governments, creative companies and individuals to find and access technical support, finance, investment, and market opportunities. The Creative Africa Nexus invests in talented people and their creative ideas across the creative industries in Africa, in particular fashion, film, music, arts and crafts. The Bank already announced a $500-million facility to support the production and trade of African cultural and creative products over the next two years.
“The African market is a low hanging fruit for African creative and cultural industries. Although some progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to bring the continent’s Creative and Cultural Industries to the levels seen in Asia, Europe and North America,” said Afreximbank President, Prof Benedict Oramah at the inaugural meeting of the Creative Africa Advisory Group held virtually on 30 October 2020.
“We are collectively encouraged and energized by the growing interest among government, policy makers, the private sector and philanthropic individuals and organizations to harness the power of the Creative and Cultural Industries to create inclusive job opportunities and drive sustainable growth development,” added Prof Oramah.
The Creative Africa Advisory Group has been constituted to provide a strategic forum that enables the diverse range of subsectors across the creative industries to engage with each other and with Afreximbank in an effective and collaborative manner, helping identify and pursue interventions of transformational relevance for the creative economy in Africa and beyond.
Co-chaired by H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil, Commissioner, Social Affairs, African Union Commission, and Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, founder of Silverbird Group, Nigeria, the CAAG consists of voluntary and emotionally committed successful creatives who are experts and practitioners in this field. They will use their expertise and experience to guide the implementation of the Bank’s Strategy through provision of strategic advice, market and capacity development, policy advocacy, trade and events promotion.
“The world is changing, and the wind is blowing toward Africa. It is Africa’s time to flourish and therefore urgent investments need to be made in the continent’s youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity to become successful without a name. In this regard, this initiative by the Afreximbank has come at the right time and the Creative Africa Advisory Group with its diversity of backgrounds and expertise will provide the much needed guidance and support.” said Mr Murray Bruce who chaired the inaugural meeting.
“The potential contribution of the creative economy to the global economy of our continent cannot be overemphasized. For this contribution to be a reality we need to work hand in hand with institutions like the Afreximbank which will enable cultural workers to produce high standard and marketable creative products to promote competitiveness and consumption by ourselves and the world at large. This way we will be promoting Africa and its rich culture to ourselves as Africans and to the international arena,” said H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil.
Other members of the Advisory Group include Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, CEO, SoleRebels Fashion; Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank; Mr. Didier Drogba, Ivorian Former Pro-Football Player; Ms. Azza Fahmy, Egyptian Jewelry designer and Hand Crafting, founder of Azza Fahmy Jewelry; Mr. Steve Harvey, the Steve Harvey Group; Honourable Madamme Kadiatou KONARE, Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism of Mali; Ms. Vanessa Moungar, Director Gender, Women & civil Society, African Development Bank; Ms. Kibonen Nfi, Cameroonian Fashion Designer; Mr. Alex Okosi, Managing Director of Emerging Markets in EMEA for YouTube; Mr. Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry Nigeria; and Mr. Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director, IC Publications.