The African Development Bank (AfDB) flagship entity is providing advisory services and investment support to creative players. According to Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu, digital platforms in Africa should scale up to take advantage of the continent’s surging demand for creative content.

Anohu was speaking at a virtual meeting with Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah, and Dean Garfield, Netflix Vice President of Public Policy. The meeting, titled The New Face of African Collaboration, was organized by the Africa Soft Power Project. It was moderated by Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications.

The dialogue was held against the backdrop of the recent launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This year is the African Union’s year of arts, culture and heritage. Discussions focused on the role of infrastructure and connectivity in advancing Africa’s creative industries, including film, textiles and design.

Oramah, speaking at the virtual meeting said, “Afreximbank set up a Ksh. ($500 million) fund in January 2020 to support Africa’s creative industries. The continent faces a challenge to effectively monetize its creative output. Once it does so, innovation will follow.”

Netflix’s Garfield agreed with Anohu, stating that AfCFTA would help address a number of the challenges to boosting Africa’s creative output, including uneven intellectual property protections. Improving fragmented payment systems and inadequate human capacity in creative industries.

The Africa Investment Forum was initiated by the African Development Bank and its founding and institutional partners. The Forum works to accelerate the closure of the continent’s investment gaps. The Forum currently has a growing portfolio of 118 deals valued at Ksh. 12.5 trillion ($114 billion).

The Mozambique Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Area 1 Project, funded by AfDB, was structured at the Africa Investment Forum 2019 marketplace event.