Somali Magazine– The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is working on the establishment of a $1-billion African Film Fund to be launched early next to support the continent’s film industry.
This was revealed by Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, at Afreximbank, while addressing the opening of the 2023 CANEX Summit held as part of the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023).
Mrs. Awani said that the fund would oversee film financing, co-finance with large studios, finance African filmmakers and finance producers and directors of film projects across the continent.
She noted that during CANEX WKND 2022, the Bank had increased the financing it was making available to the creative sector from US$500 million to US$1 billion and that the continental lender currently had a pipeline of over US$600 million in film, music, visual arts, fashion, and sports deal.
“The very first film we financed recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival,” Mrs. Awani said, adding, “The Bank has several in the pipeline from Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, which should be on streaming platforms in 2024.”
Acknowledging that the film and audiovisual industries in Africa accounted for US$5 billion of the continent’s GDP and employed an estimated five million people, with the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate US$20 billion in revenues annually, Mrs.
African creative and film sector faced several challenges, including limited access to financing and copyright infringement due to weak copyright laws, enforcement mechanisms, and a lack of awareness.
The sector was also confronted with infrastructure and technology gaps, lack of capacity and shortage of skilled professionals and limited market access and international exposure, as a result of which African creative and cultural products often struggle to gain exposure and access to international markets.
Earlier, Boris Kodjoe, a celebrity actor of Ghanaian descent, highlighted how the creativity of Africans had influenced various aspects of modern life, including music, fashion, art, design, social consciousness, business, sports, film and TV.
He elaborated that the exploitation of black creativity by the West had had lasting effects and that, despite admiration of black excellence, Africa still faced branding challenges due to external perception fuelled by the traditional media’s depiction of poverty, famine, civil wars, and migration on the continent.
Films and TV shows with diversity performed better than others by 30 percent and Afrobeats was taking over global airwaves. By 2030, Africa was projected to produce up to 10 percent of global creative goods exports worth roughly $200 billion or four percent of Africa’s GDP.