AfDB, Islamic Development Bank, France to invest $618m in Nigerian creative industry

To boost funding for Nigerian creative industry, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the French Development Agency (FDA) have announced plans to invest $618 million dollars in the Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (I-DICE) in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the president of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina,  at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum during the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

AfDB added that the fund will support 225 creative start-ups and 451 digital technologies small and medium-sized enterprises, or digital SMEs.

Adesina disclosed that the enterprises would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion worth of economic productivity to Nigeria’s economy.

According to Adesina: “That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors must recognise this and invest. The future is not just digital; the future will be driven by digital revolution.

“Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost 1.4 billion dollars of the total of four billion dollars raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least one billion dollars each”.

The AfDB chief added that the bank had so far invested 4.5 billion dollars in Nigeria, adding that the country remained an attractive investment destination. Also, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and IsDB had provided $540 million to develop Special Agro-industrial processing zones to help unlock the agricultural potential in Nigeria to boost food and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive.

He noted further that reducing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit is also important, citing the National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan, which shows that Nigeria will need a total financing of 759 billion dollars to support infrastructure over a 23-year horizon (2020-2043).

“This covers tackling the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transport infrastructure,” he said.