By AZUH AMATUS
At the historic National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) on Wednesday signed an MOU with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for the development of Nigeria’s creative industries. The Honourable Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Tony O. Elumelu, CON signed for their respective organizations.
The partnership will provide a framework for bringing creative industry stakeholders together with investors, financiers and business leaders to transform the creativity of industry entrepreneurs into a profitable sector capable of attracting international collaboration and contributing consistently to the national economy.
During the signing, the Hon. Minister said, “My Ministry recognises the urgent need to develop Nigeria’s creative industries and increase its contribution to the national economy. Nigeria currently has creative industries but no creative economy. This partnership will leverage the experience of the private sector to help the creative industries retain the commercial opportunity and the financial benefits.”
In April, the Minister approached TEF with a challenge: “How can we work together to help transform the currently underdeveloped and unstructured creative industry ecosystem into an organized and profitable pool of creative industries that provide meaningful employment to thousands of Nigerians?”
The Foundation’s response is the framework which undergirds the MOU.
While speaking at the event, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and UBA Plc Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON said, “Without doubt, Nollywood is a global leader and our young musicians are emerging as international sensations with serious earning potential. Nigerians are good at starting creative businesses, but they lack the capacity to scale, proper business management and the investment necessary to become self-sustaining. This partnership will provide the framework for building business capacity and attracting sustainable investment.”
Also speaking at the event, the CEO of the Foundation, Parminder Vir, OBE, expressed her optimism at the future of the creative industry in Nigeria. A seasoned filmmaker herself, Ms. Vir stated, “Nigeria has an abundance of creative excellence, talent and cultural IP in film, television, music, fashion, ICT, performing arts and this partnership is designed to support the growth of this sector for leading businesses, facilities, entrepreneurs and institutions engaged in the fast growing sector.”
The event was well attended by several industry representatives including luminaries like Joke Silva, Zeb Ejiro, Obi Asika, Ali Baba, D’Banj, Chioma Ude, Nimi AkinkugbeRalph Nwadike, Audu Maikori, Princess Dolapo Oni Sijuwade and more.
About The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Established in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is the leading philanthropic organisation in Africa with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship as the catalyst for the socio-economic development of the continent. The Foundation has set itself apart from grant-making bodies, by operationalising integrated programmes to support entrepreneurship in Africa and by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. TEF has achieved this namely through its flagship initiative, the TF Entrepreneurship Programme, a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs. www.tonyelumelufoundation.org @tonyelumeluFDN
About the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum
The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum is the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, pan-African media, policy makers and more from across the continent. It is a showcase of the innovation and entrepreneurial potential that exists in Africa. The Forum is held over two days and is the physical gathering of the 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from 54 African countries here in Lagos. This dynamic platform allows the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to form networks, share knowledge, build cross border business partnerships, and more through plenary panels, masterclasses, speed networking, TED style talks and entertainment. The second day will be a high-level policy gathering to discuss how to improve the ecosystem and to announce pledges from partners and stakeholders on their own agendas to promote entrepreneurship in Africa. http://tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/tef-forum2016/