BusinessDay

Africa Creative Market set to provide access to finance, network for talents

Talents in the Nigeria and Africa creative sector will stand a chance to access finance, network and training through the novel Africa Creative Market, (ACM).

Implemented by Ascend Studio Foundation – an organisation with a mandate to empower women and youths in Africa, ACM a creative market event that brings major stakeholders in the African and International creative industry together to explore and exchange innovative ideas for Africa’s creative economy, and provide training for African creatives.

ACM also gives opportunities for stakeholders to share future-proof business models, provide access to trade finance, increase creative export and standards and promote data-led understanding of creative trade.

The 2022 ACM will host the Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI) summit and several capacity building programs for creative in Film, music, dance, fashion.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the initiative, Inya Lawal, CEO, Ascend Studios Foundation and founder of ACM said they will be working with partners who will be heading the film, music, fashion and dance sectors and also curating them.

Lawal disclosed that ACM will be focused on film, music, fashion and dance with Paramount Africa heading music, kaffyinc heading dance, WIFTI will head film and YD limited will handle fashion.

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“We are focusing on capacity building, access to mentors for the people we are training and most importantly, access to networks because everyone would be coming from different parts of the world. It is a unique event. It is not like the ones we have had.

“But our major focus is that action must follow the conversations we are having because what we see usually is people talking about the problems and solutions but there are no active steps towards solutions,” she said.

She explained that ACM is bringing a 360 approach with capacity building and a platform where the creative bodies will find the funding bodies and funding bodies find the creatives.

“We have people with sustainable structures from different parts of the world who can teach us how they have been able to build their own industries to the level which they are. The goal is to make sure that the creative economy is growing and we do it in a way that we have sustainable solutions to the problems we have.

“The Ooni of Ife is our grand patron on this programme. We also have supporters like the Swedish Embassy and we also have the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation championing one of our capacity building programmes called Thrive under the Women in Film and Tv International Summit,” she added.

Also speaking at the event, Bada Akintunde-Johnson, country manager, Paramount Africa said ACM seeks to strengthen the foundation of the Creative sector.

Akintunde-Johnson stressed that ACM will be focusing on access to funding, access to international markets and access to structures.

“ACM is bridging the gap by training more people, impacting knowledge and teaching people the tricks of the trade. The opportunity for network is also there.We need more Fire Boys, more Genevieves and we want to take our fabrics all over the world,” he said.

Tomisin Olawale, the Special Personal Assistant to the Ooni of Ife said the Ooni of Ife was proud to partner with the initiative, adding that one thing that is very paramount for Nigeria is the need to start telling our stories.

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