Keystone Bank Limited has re-emphasised its commitment to the growth and development of the Africa’s creative industry as the lender recently partnered with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and other multilateral agencies to host the maiden edition of the Creative Africa Exchange Weekend (CAX WKND) in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to the organizers, the Creative Africa Exchange Weekend is Africa’s first continental event dedicated to promoting exchange within the creative and cultural industry.
“CAX is a consolidated marketplace for the creative and cultural industry. It was developed as the catalyst that brings together the identified assets and resources within the creative industry’s ecosystem, enabled by cutting-edge technology to consolidate the resources that create a viable, monetizable and impactful African creative and cultural economy.
“CAX aims to facilitate investments into the industry through trade, industrialization and provision of critical infrastructure to support the transformation of Africa through mobilizing continental initiatives such as African Continental Free Trade Agreements,” it stated.
Commenting on the bank’s involvement, Keystone Bank executive director, Adeyemi Odusanya said: “There is a misconception of ‘mistrust’ between creative industry practitioners and the banking community, rather the issue is, both parties need to seek better understanding of their respective peculiarities.
“For instance, creative industry practitioners are concerned of the stringent conditions of accessing finances from banks, while the bankers intend to comply with their mandate of protecting depositors’ assets, provide optimum return on investment to investors as much as reducing their cost of risk.
“These concerns call for greater partnership/collaborations between both parties with putting together structures and platform that address the issues of intellectual properties, legal systems as well as the protection of the value chain framework for ease of advocacy and execution of common goals.
“In the motion industry, most finances are targeted at content development and production (which ideally should be financed by equity, while the real obstacles are the packaging, marketing and distribution stages which might require financing for the real heavy lifting for that business.
“Hence, focus should be on developing a platform (like physical/virtual room) and structure for knowledge sharing and collaboration.”
On its part, at the event, Afreximbank announced a $500 million support for the production and trade of African cultural and creative products over the next two years.
President of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, told guests that the funds, which would build on what the bank was already doing, would be accessible as lines of credit to banks, direct financing to operators and as guarantees. He said the creative economy was increasingly recognized as a significant sector and meaningful contributor to Africa’s gross domestic product and that the cultural and creative industries catalysed economic growth by stering more inclusive, connected and collaborative societies.