In recent years, Africa’s creative sector has grown significantly, with African music and movies reaching a more global audience. Although, the continent is said to have only scratched the surface.
The global creative economy is a billion-dollar industry. Yet, Africa’s share of the pie remains significantly low. Compared to their global counterparts who are raking in millions of dollars annually by monetising their craft, African creators don’t earn much from their craft, accounting for only around 2.9 percent of global creative goods exports.
The reason isn’t far-fetched. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Africa’s creative sector is faced with challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited access to funding and markets, intellectual property issues, and a dearth of enabling regulations.
In addressing this gap, Africa Creative Market, (ACM) an eagerly anticipated annual event has continued to serve as a catalyst for growth in the creative economy.
The gathering brings together key players from the African and international creative industry, providing a platform for collaboration and innovation. This year, the event takes a significant leap forward by placing a strong emphasis on safeguarding intellectual property rights and harnessing the power of technology.
As the Africa Creative Market continues to evolve, it serves as a global stage where Africa’s creative entrepreneurs can shine, capturing the attention of a diverse and discerning audience. This gathering not only celebrates the richness and diversity of African creativity but also offers a gateway to lucrative and fulfilling ventures for both local and international investors. With a focus on intellectual property and technology, the Africa Creative Market is poised to revolutionize the creative industry, creating a lasting impact that extends far beyond the event itself.
The Africa Creative Market platform offers a wide range of opportunities and support for creatives in the region, including training programs, investment opportunities, and access to trade finance. The U.S Consulate Lagos and the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs as partners for Intellectual enforcement and Best practices; and training partners for fashion creatives on the use of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) for trade between the U.S. and Africa. National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as a government partner, actively supports the creative sector through initiatives like the Startup Act and Creative Technology Program (CTP).
Venture Garden Group’s TRAIL platform provides tools and resources for entrepreneurs. The HOW Foundation’s WIGWE University offers specialised training and mentorship programs. Ascend Studios Foundation enhances capacity-building efforts. Together, these organizations contribute to a data-led understanding of creative trade and empower creatives to achieve their goals.
Africa Creative Market (ACM) is a premier creative event that attracts attendees from around the world. In 2022, over 10,000 people from 28 countries participated in conferences, pitch sessions, panel discussions, creative market activities, funding sessions, networking events, and concerts.
The event also hosted the Women in Film and TV International (WIFTI) Summit, bringing together a diverse delegation. Looking ahead to ACM 2023, the event will focus on sectors such as Film/TV, Music, Fashion, and Dance, as well as sub-sectors like Advertising, Games, Cultural Education, Edutainment, VR/AR, and Photography. ACM aims to empower creatives in Africa and provide them with opportunities to scale their businesses.
It is supported by organizations such as Paramount Africa, MTVBase, U.S. Consulate General Lagos, and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The platform’s mission is to provide creatives with the blueprint for establishing commercially viable and sustainable business models.
Slated for November 2nd to 7th of November, 2023 at 21st Century Technologies and Glover Memorial Hall, ACM promises a unique opportunity for a diverse range of creatives to showcase their talents.
In an exciting development and partnership with strategic partners like Paramount Africa, U.S. Consulate Lagos, 21st Century Technologies, Venture Garden Group, The HOW Foundation, WIGWE University, RivExcel, Global Tech Africa, TRAIL, NITDA, ALTA Global Media, FWIFT Nigeria, WIFT Africa, Festival Le Teranga, WIFT Senegal, The Luxury Network, The YD Company, Eden Venture Group, Lagos Continental, Glover Memorial and so many more. This collaboration signifies the event’s growing global influence and underscores its commitment to fostering sustainable economic growth within the creative sector.
According to Inya Lawal, the Founder of ACM, ‘‘the organization’s mission is to empower creatives to scale by providing a blueprint for establishing commercially viable and sustainable business models’’.
According to Bada Akintunde-Johnson, the Country Manager for Paramount Africa in Nigeria, ‘‘the Africa Creative Market (ACM) is dedicated to strengthening Africa’s creative ecosystem for profitability, sustainability, and global recognition. ACM aims to create access to replicable models, structures, and the international market.”
Akintunde-Johnson highlights the impact of MTV Making the Video in training the first generation of music video directors in the early 2000s, which acted as a catalyst in transforming the industry.
He emphasizes ACM’s focus on training more individuals, sharing knowledge, teaching trade secrets, and facilitating networking opportunities. The ultimate goal is to showcase remarkable talents like Fireboy, Buju, Genevieve, Chimamanda, and others to the world’’.
In conclusion, Africa Creative Market (ACM) is a platform that aims to empower creatives in Africa and provide them with opportunities to scale their businesses.
With a focus on intellectual property and technology, the ACM has the potential to revolutionize the creative industry in Africa and create a lasting impact. Moreover, ACM offers a gateway to lucrative ventures for both local and international investors, contributing to the economic growth and development of the creative sector in Africa.