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Nigeria VP Osinbajo Canvasses Credit Faciliies To Expand Creative Industry In Africa 

“The success of the creative industry in Africa is a phenomenon that many will say happened without much government involvement,” he said.

Nigeria Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed that with the right infrastructure, provision of credit and necessary exposure, the creative industry in Africa would significantly expand its space.

Osinbajo spoke Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya at the first session of 2023 Ibrahim Governance panel discussion with the theme “Africa in the World: Multiple Assets.” 

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) the organizer of the annual forum, was established in 2006 with a critical focus on the importance of governance and leadership for Africa. 

Contributing to the discussion, Osinbajo said what government should do to support the expansion of the creative industry would be provision of credit to the young talents that make up the creative industry. 

According to him, “the success of the creative industry in Africa is a phenomenon that many will say happened without much government involvement. So, I think that in many ways what is important is to see how the creative industry can be supported. 

“Firstly, in entertainment, it is evident that there is a huge amount of talents and it’s evident also that the regulatory environment favours it because there are no impediments and one would say that as much as possible what we should seek to do is to see how how we can expand that space and to support with credit where that is possible and infrastructure that will be helpful.” 

Citing example of one of such support to the industry, Osinbajo disclosed that “so for example, we in Nigeria do what we call our own National Theatre. They now have a few studios for films, entertainment and the extent to which that will support the industry has always shown tremendous promise.” 

Applauding the growth of the industry and cautioning against excessive interference by governments, the Vice President  noted that things have changed in so many fundamental respects that there is  greater independence of the artist and the creative people and they really function very effectively with little help.

Osinbajo also spoke on the right education and vision to be given to young people to enhance their relevance. 

According to him, there is need to have a clarity of vision on where Africa is headed in terms of education. 

He said: “It is really the privileged young people; I use the word privilege cautiously because these are young people with education – local education or education abroad, some have college degrees and all of that. But there is a huge rural population of young people who have no education and that demography have a large number of women. 

“So, even understanding what sort of educational programmes we need to put in place and even the vision for that educational programme, you have to understand that we are dealing with several demographics. 

“The final point is that we are in a new place where the world has changed so dramatically and particularly in the past ten years; where we have robotic, artificial intelligence. What sort of education makes sense to create job opportunities today? 

“This is the time to think through the educational curriculum and to decide how this curriculum will be relevant and would deliver the sort of persons that we want to deliver and create the sort of opportunities that we require for the jobs that will be available”.

The Vice President later held a bilateral meeting with the British Minister of State for Development and Africa, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, where they discussed issues of mutual interest between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. 

He also held brief discussions  with the former Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok on the sidelines of the ongoing Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW).

On Friday evening, Osinbajo joined the Kenyan President William Ruto and other dignitaries attending the IGW to honour the latest Mo Ibrahim Laureate President, Mahamadou Issoufou, who was celebrated in person at the event graced by leaders from Africa and across the world. 

Issoufou is the immediate past president of Niger who won the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. He is the sixth recipient of the prize, which recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja