Africa’s free trade area is expected to be a boon to the creative industries and create jobs for the youth. The trade pact, which is intended to create a single market for goods and services and promote the cross-border movement of capital and people, should boost intra-African trade – currently only 18 percent – and regional integration.
The most important players in the Creative industries were optimistic when they met in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2019, even before the trade zone was introduced.
“We wanted to break up the AfCFTA,” said Josh Nyapimbi, the executive director of the Nhimbe Trust, a pan-African company creative civil society organization based in Zimbabwe, adding that the creative and cultural industries “can use the deal to propel our economy”. General of the African Continental Free Trade Association (AfCFTA) has emphasized the need for young people to participate in cross-border trade through creative industries and technology. He says that the active participation of young people will boost job creation and drive economic development.
Africa’s creative sector is diverse and includes visual and performing arts, crafts, cultural festivals, painting, sculpture, photography , Publishing, music, dance, film, radio, design, fashion, video games, digital animation, architecture and advertising, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The organization notes that the Sector Contribution to the economic growth of Africa.
“The creative industries and their industries are strategic sectors which, if supported, can increase competitiveness, productivity, sustainable growth, employment and export potential,” says Pamela Coke-Hamilton , UNCTAD’s Executive Director.
A report by the International Trade Center states that the AfCFTA will create more jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people e Africans can create, and recommends creating opportunities for youth from a si. to benefit ngle market.
Africa is the youngest continent with an average age of 19.8 years while 65 percent of the population is under 25 years old. By 2050, a third of all young people worldwide are expected to live in Africa. Nevertheless, between 7 and 10 million young Africans are looking for work every day.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of the Regional Office of the UN Development Program for Africa, told Africa Renewal earlier this year that AfCFTA is “Africa’s best development accelerator to date “.
In March 2021, Eziakonwa and Mene signed a strategic partnership on behalf of UNDP and the AfCFTA Secretariat to promote trade in Africa. Both bodies re-published a report in November that stressed that free trade in Africa could boost around 10 new value chains, many of which will support the creative sector.
These include mobile financial services as well as culture, entertainment and tourism.
Creativity is the new money and it is time for Africa to benefit from it, says Carlos Lopes, economist and former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.
Comments by Lopes: “While there is clearly no shortage of talent on the continent, Africa has benefited relatively little from [its talent] … Africa’s presence in global markets for creative goods and services is stagnating due to its limited supply capacity and lack of intellectual property.” Knowledge, outdated guidelines and regulations as well as insufficient investment in the industry, especially in infrastructure. ”
To this situation According to Eziakonwa, three solutions are needed – knowing the opportunity, investing in policy frameworks, eworks, and removing barriers to mobility.
Africa must first recognize the economic value of the creative and cultural industries, she argues. In order to achieve the goal of an African market, a targeted incentive system is required that supports learning, talent development and promotion in Africa, as well as a relaxation of the visa regulations in order to enable Africans, also in the creative industries, unhindered cross-border travel, she adds For example, Nigeria’s film industry contributes 1.42 percent ($ 7.2 billion) to the country’s GDP and employs 300,000 people directly and a million others indirectly.
The South Africa’s creative industry accounts for 3.6 percent of the country’s employment.
Ahead of AfCFTA’s one-year anniversary, industry leaders hope the trade pact will overcome several hurdles.
Jacob Maaga is a Kenya-based artist and financial expert who is committed to promoting trade in Africa. He says that “an enabling regulatory framework, accompanied by legal protection, is essential for youngsters to reap the benefits of AfCFTA.” open between companies across Africa “so we can start sourcing, manufacturing and selling across borders”.
These and other topics were discussed last month at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa. discussed where the The Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Summit was launched with support from the African Import-Export Bank.
CANEX aims to support Africa’s creative and cultural industries, and Afreximbank has one A facility of US $ 500 million as seed capital for the initiative.
According to Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah, supporting the creative sector is a good choice.
” We at Afreximba nk fully understand the power of the creative industries to promote intra-African trade, creating millions of jobs for the continent’s young population and promoting the emergence of national and regional value chains, ”says Oramah. “We also know the power of creative people to catalyze industrial development, because this is a bankable industry.”
First published by Africa Renewal