Afreximbank unveils $1bn film fund
Multinational finance institution African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced plans to launch the US$1bn African Film Fund in 2024, aimed at supporting the continent’s movie industry.
Kanayo Awani, exec VP of Intra-African Trade Bank, an Afreximbank subdiary, said the fund would oversee film financing, co-finance with large studios and support African filmmakers, producers and directors across the continent.
Awani was speaking at the 2023 Canex Summit held this month as part of the third Intra-African Trade Fair. She also said that during a Canex event in 2022, the bank had increased the funding it was making available to the creative sector from US$500m to US$1bn and that the bank had a pipeline of over US$600m in film, music, visual arts, fashion and sports deals.
“The very first film we financed recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The bank has several in the pipeline from Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, which should be on streaming platforms in 2024,” said Awani. “The film and audiovisual industries in Africa accounted for US$5bn of the continent’s GDP and employed an estimated five million people, with the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate US$20bn in revenues annually.
“The 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 this, African creative and cultural products often struggle to gain exposure and access to international markets.”
Canex is an Afreximbank initiative to support Africa and the African diaspora’s creative and cultural industries by providing financing and non-financing instruments to boost growth.
The Canex Summit, held from November 9 to 15, is intended to develop conversations and provide additional business-to-business and business-to-government opportunities.