IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Sony Group Corporation, have signed an agreement to identify investment opportunities in companies in the creative industries in Africa. The two organizations intend to support new economic opportunities and create jobs.
Under this agreement, IFC and Sony will work together to identify investment opportunities with a particular focus on seed and early-stage startups. Priority sectors for cooperation will include film, music, animation studios, post-production services, fashion, sports and technology and platforms supporting the creative ecosystem. This partnership leverages Sony’s expertise and reach in the creative sector with IFC’s long-standing expertise in investing in private sector development in Africa and digital technologies.
“We are excited about our collaboration with Sony, aimed at generating value for businesses in Africa’s creative industry. This partnership will harness IFC’s expertise in emerging markets and our extensive investments in the digital landscape. Sony’s exceptional track record as a leading global player in entertainment, media, and technology positions us well to contribute to the economic growth of the creative sector,” IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop.
Africa’s creative industries generate $4.2 billion annually but have a limited share in the global market, comprising only 2.9% of creative goods exports and less than 1% of Africa’s GDP. However, the continent’s digital economy is projected to grow six-fold to over $700 billion by 2050, with Africa’s film and audiovisual sectors alone having the potential to create 20 million jobs and $20 billion in annual revenue. This significant, untapped potential is a route for boosting economic growth and improving employment opportunities for young people and women.
“Through the partnership agreement with IFC, we hope to accelerate the growth of the African entertainment industry and contribute to the progress and development of the region by providing opportunities for collaboration with the entertainment businesses within the Sony Group,” Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President, Sony Group.
Recently, IFC made its first investment in the creative industries in Africa, with a $3.4 million equity investment into Côte d’Ivoire-based ANKA. The funding will allow ANKA, an online sales platform for African creators and merchants, to scale its operations and onboard about 100,000 additional artisans from across Africa by 2030.