African Export-Import Bank to commit USD500M to creative industries

KIGALI (Xinhua) – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will commit USD500 million to support cultural and creative industries in Africa in the next two years, the bank said on Friday.

The Afreximbank announced the decision at the opening of Creative Africa Exchange, a two-day event co-organised by Times Multimedia, the Afreximbank and the Rwandan government.

“Creative industries can be potent vehicles for more equitable, sustainable and inclusive growth strategies for African economies,” said Afreximbank’s President Benedict Oramah.

Currently, Africa lacks the infrastructure and capacity to commercialise its creative talents and reap vast underlying fortunes, Oramah said.

The funds, which will build on what the bank is already doing, would be accessible as lines of credit to banks, direct financing to operators and as guarantees, he said.

The creative and cultural sectors make a meaningful contribution to Africa’s gross domestic product and catalyse economic growth by fostering more inclusive, connected and collaborative societies, he added.

The creative and cultural industries would enhance collaboration and cooperation among African countries, said Rwandan Minister of Youth and Culture Rosemary Mbabazi, adding that the Rwandan government envisions the industries as a key part of its economic strategy.

Creative Africa Exchange features creative talents from the music, arts and fashion sectors as well as government officials from 68 countries.