Africa’s creative industry represents a potent instrument that can grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African countries and pull the continent’s youth out of poverty, ProfessorBenedict Oramah, President of the African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank), said on Friday.
Speaking at the two-day Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) kicked off at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) here, Prof.Oramah told the opening ceremony that the creative industry had the power “to catalyse intra-African trade, create millions of jobs for the continent’s young population, and promote the emergence of national and regional value chains”.
Hailing the power of creative industry to spur industrial development, he said Afreximbank instituted the CANEX programme to support Africa’s creative and cultural industries in a manner that would revolutionise the continent’s untapped talents.
“The creative industry is a bankable market,” Prof.Oramah declared, assuring that Afreximbank’s continued support to the creative economy could be expected going forward.
NkosinathiMthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture of South Africa, who performed the official launch, said that the CANEX programme represented an opportunity to unlock the best of Africa.
“The next gold for Africa is the cultural and creative economy,” MrMthethwa said, adding that Africa’s political agendas could be positively influenced by the rich tapestry of arts and culture. “Central to cultural diplomacy is the notion of people-to-people relations and Africa can use ‘soft diplomacy’ by leveraging the arts to create these human connections.”
In addition to the opening ceremony, the CANEX Day One activities included a panel conversation on leveraging the AfCFTA to promote African Creative and Cultural Industries; a fireside chat with Afreximbank President, Prof.Oramah; another fireside chat with Nigerian-American actress FolakeOlowofoyeku; a panel conversation on Afrobeat – What’s Next for African Music; another panel on Protecting African Creativity – Intellectual Property Best Practice; and a complement of live performances from some of Africa’s top talent.