Côte d’Ivoire to host CANEX Weekend ‘22

South Africa’s Lebo Mashile performs at the opening of last year’s CANEX Summit. PHOTO / IATF

What you need to know:

  • The CANEX WKND 2022 set to be staged at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel will be presented by African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), in partnership with the government of Côte d’Ivoire.

Creatives from across Africa and the diaspora will gather in the Ivorian capital Abidjan from November 25 to 27 for the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Weekend (WKND) to conduct business with an emphasis on meeting and networking opportunities among themselves.

The CANEX WKND 2022 set to be staged at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel will be presented by African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), in partnership with the government of Côte d’Ivoire.

Creatives, potential investors, industry leaders, creative industry businesses and government representatives are expected to descend on the West African country. Business-to-business and business-to-government networking and deal-making opportunities are expected to abound.

Creatives will also have various opportunities to connect and engage with Africa and her diaspora’s leading voices in music, film, fashion, crafts, visual arts, literature, gaming, virtual reality and sports, among others.

“We are expecting approximately 1,000 creatives to attend the event and already, about 50 speakers or brands have been approached to take part,” Afreximbank said in a statement, adding, “Additionally, over 70 companies are expected to exhibit in the market.”

A visual feast of fashion and art design will be on display through a unique installation designed specifically for the event. It will combine the works of top African fashion designers and visual artists.

The masterclasses are tailored to upskill creatives across disciplines on key principles such as the monetisation of content, intellectual property rights, access to finance, fashion, tech and digital opportunities, film distribution, cultural heritage, and other topics. These sessions will be designed to address some of the key challenges facing the African creative environment and recommend implementable interventions. The master classes will provide a more hands-on approach to learning.

Other exciting sports, cultural and technology-driven activations will also take place throughout the weekend. There will also be a spotlight on investment opportunities in Africa’s sports ecosystem, including e-gaming.

The CANEX WKND Market has been specifically designed to welcome both emerging and independent creatives. Larger brands and associations won’t be ignored. The creatives will be able to exhibit fashion, visual arts, crafts and other creative products in a dynamic market.

CANEX WKND is a vital event on Africa’s creative industries calendar. It’s a follow-up event to the CANEX Summit at the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) where hundreds of creatives gathered in Durban, South Africa to connect, network and do business.

The CANEX Summit will take a full day of panel discussions and conversations to continue the conversations from CANEX at IATF2021. Afreximbank says the conversations will be aimed at contributing to better policy development and creating a more viable investment environment within Africa’s creative sectors.

Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) generate income through trade and commercialisation of intellectual property rights as per Afreximbank. This is ultimately believed to create new jobs in higher occupational skills, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises.

With the advancement in technology, especially the digital revolution, education and innovation, creative and knowledge-based industries have emerged among the most dynamic sectors of the global economy. In addition to its economic benefits, cultural and creative industries generate non-monetary value that can contribute significantly to achieving people-centred, inclusive, and sustainable development.

“The growing global demand for African creative content is yet to be matched by a comprehensive and systematic scaling up of value chains in this sector on the continent,” Ms Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank executive vice president, Intra-African Trade Bank, says.

Given the relevance and opportunities provided by the creative economy as a key driver for development and job creation, Afreximbank has deployed the CANEX programme to facilitate the development and growth of the creative and cultural industries in Africa and the diaspora. The programme provides a range of financing instruments, as well as trade facilitation interventions to support Africa’s production, trade and investment in creative content.

The CANEX WKND comes at the time when the CCIs in Africa are recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Creatives from across Africa and the diaspora can attend the event free of charge by registering on www.canex.africa.