The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has revealed plans to establish a $1-billion African Film Fund in 2024, aimed at supporting the film industry in Africa.
Executive Vice-President of the Intra-African Trade Bank at Afreximbank, Kanayo Awani, made the announcement in Cairo last week during the opening of the 2023 CANEX Summit, held as part of the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023).
The fund is expected to oversee film financing, co-finance projects with major studios, support African filmmakers, and provide financing to producers and directors across the continent.
Awani highlighted the bank’s increased focus on financing the creative sector, raising the available funds from $500 million to $1 billion during the CANEX WKND 2022 event.
At the moment, the bank is believed to have a pipeline of over $600 million worth of deals in film, music, visual arts, fashion, and sports.
He also mentioned that the bank has already financed a film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has several projects from Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya in the pipeline for streaming platforms in 2024.
The African film industry contributes $5 billion to the continent’s GDP and employs around five million people, with the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate $20 billion in annual revenue. However, it faces various challenges, such as limited access to financing, copyright infringement, weak copyright laws, enforcement mechanisms, and a lack of awareness.