Ghanaian businesswoman and entrepreneur, Roberta Annan, last week launched a €100 million (US$155.7 million) fund to channel investment into small and medium African creative and fashion enterprises.
According to a statement by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Impact Fund for African Creative (IFFAC), will award grants of up to €50,000 (US$57,800) to selected projects to accelerate development of the continent’s creative sector.
The fund was launched at a ceremony held during Paris Fashion week, and attended by fashion experts and Chinelo Anohu, senior director of the Africa Investment Forum, a flagship initiative of the AfDB, which aims to channel investment into Africa.
Annan, who also founded the African Fashion Foundation, said that, in addition to grants, IFFAC would make a further €250,000- €2 million (US$290,000-US$2.3 million) in venture capital available to African entrepreneurs who complete its skills-building programme.
“I have encountered so much incredible talent all over the continent, such originality and innovation. But I have also noticed a lack of management skills, infrastructure, and start-up capital necessary to scale these creative businesses. This is the motivation behind IFFAC”, said Annan.
Ano, on her part, said the Africa Investment Forum had been in talks with IFFAC as it curates projects that would feature at its upcoming Africa Investment Forum 2021 Market Days to be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from December 1-3.
“I applaud IFFAC for its plans to bring early-stage capital deployment, along with a structured program of training and mentorship to artists and entrepreneurs like Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize.
“For all those investors in this room, who believe, like I do, in the potential for commercialising the exports of Africa’s creative genius, I invite you to contact the Africa Investment Forum”, said Anohu.
Ize, a beneficiary of the Impact Fund program, also attended the launch, after he became the first African to open Paris Fashion Week, last week.
Africa’s creative industry is an increasingly important part of the investment mix for the future of the African economy and the Forum’s 2021 Market Days is expected to showcase creative and cultural-sector deals from around the continent, including in film and television, as well as women-led projects, among other sectors.Meanwhile, Anohu had also during the Paris visit met with European investors, including institutional investors, are actively interested in Africa’s creative industry, as well as other key priority sectors under Africa Investment Forum’s Unified Covid-19 response pillars, which include technology, renewable energy and agro processing sectors. – Vanguard