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HomeTop NewsVP Osinbajo hinges expansion of the creative industry on credit, right infrastructure

VP Osinbajo hinges expansion of the creative industry on credit, right infrastructure

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By Samuel Bankole

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the creative industry in Africa would expand significantly with the right infrastructure, the provision of credit, and the necessary exposure.

He spoke at the first session of the 2023 Ibrahim Governance Weekend today in Nairobi, Kenya. The panel discussion was themed “Africa in the World: Multiple Assets.”

While contributing to the discussion, Osinbajo said what the government should do to support the expansion of the creative industry would be to provide credit to the young talents that make up the industry.

“The success of the creative industry in Africa is a phenomenon that many will say happened without much government involvement. So, I think that in many ways, what is important is to see how the creative industry can be supported.

“Firstly, in entertainment, it is evident that there is a huge amount of talent, and it’s evident also that the regulatory environment favors it because there are no impediments, and one would say that as much as possible, what we should seek to do is to see how we can expand that space and to support it with credit where that is possible and infrastructure that will be helpful,” the VP told his audience.

Giving an example of such support for the industry, Osinbajo stated that “for example, we in Nigeria do what we call our own national theater.” They now have a few studios for films and entertainment, and the extent to which that will support the industry has always shown tremendous promise.”

Applauding the growth of the industry and cautioning against excessive interference by governments, the VP noted that “things have changed in so many fundamental respects that there is greater independence of the artist and the creative people, and they really function very effectively with little help.”

Only last month, the Vice President launched the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE), a $600 million credit facility that will support young Nigerians ranging in age from 15 to 35 who are entrepreneurs and involved in creative, innovative, and technology-enabled ventures.

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“I think it is now imperative to commence a coordinated approach towards innovation on the continent, bringing together all stakeholders to coordinate efforts at scaling up investments and building programs that provide the right enabling environment and produce talent pipelines that support the growth of innovation on the continent,” Prof. Osinbajo said in his keynote address at the event.

Under i-DICE, constraints such as access to capital and capacity limitations for start-ups would be effectively addressed.

i-DICE is supported by funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB)—$170 million; the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)—$70 million; and the Agence Française de Développement—$116 million. There is also a Federal Government of Nigeria counterpart contribution of $45 million through Bank of Industry loans for qualifying start-ups.

Earlier at the opening session and also at the sideline interactions ahead of it, the Vice President received commendations both from the MIF founder and some of the speakers.

For instance, Mo Ibrahim, whose chat with the VP ahead of the session attracted media attention, commended the VP for his leadership qualities and for being an example to other African leaders.

According to him, “now we really need statesmen like you coming out of office to really go and save society and do something for Africa.

“It will be wonderful because there’s life after office and you can have your voice. You say it as it is and then really give an example to all our leaders who handle different jobs. We can go and get things done and get the respect of the international community, and you will do the best job.”

Later during the panel discussion, former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, who also spoke on the panel, said in reference to the VP, “I think this gentleman has done an excellent job in his country. I don’t think we have seen the last of him,” to the applause of the audience, which included global leaders and captains of industry in Africa.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF, the organizer of the annual forum, was established in 2006 with a critical focus on the importance of governance and leadership for Africa.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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