Afreximbank doubles support for CANEX programme with $1bn

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced an additional $1 billion funding package to support Africa’s creative industries under the auspices of the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX).

President and Chairman, Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, announced the $1 billion funding package, while speaking at the opening of the three-day CANEX Weekend (CANEX WKND), which was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from November 25 to 27. 

This is double the $500 million the bank announced two years ago to support Africa’s creative and cultural industry as part of its wider CANEX programme, which it said is now nearly fully utilised.

Oramah explained that the doubling of the facility to $1 billion is for implementation over the next three years to 2025, to maintain and sustain the momentum and impact initiated by the original facility.

He said: “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.

“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, the Bank said its culture and creative industry support facility has assisted film production, in some cases in partnership with Netflix. It has 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 commercialisation.

Creative and cultural activities covered include sports, fashion, music, movies, art, including performance art, media and technology.

Support for creatives

In efforts to support Africa’s cultural and creative industries, Afreximbank has also set up a $100 million venture capital fund to which the Bank will contribute $25 million.

Also, to address the lack of institutions on the continent that can support the commercialisation of African intellectual property rights, the Bank has formed and registered CANEX Creations Incorporated, an entity that will support the protection and commercialisation of African intellectual property rights.

Oramah continued: “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.

“CANEX Creations Incorporated will help generate intellectual property in the creative and cultural industry, ensure that they are legally protected, and 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.”

Outlining the Bank’s on-going 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 Ivorian Government, the CANEX WKND brought together about 3,000 cultural and creative talent, as well as investors, industry leaders, government representatives, and the media from Africa and the Diaspora.

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.

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