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FG, AfDB set to roll out $617 million IDICE fund for digital, creative industry

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The Federal Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) has concluded plans to roll out a $617 million IDICE Fund for the digital technology and creative industry.

The hint was given by the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, at a high-level meeting with the Director-General of AfDB, Lamin Barrow, on Thursday, February 1, 2024, in Abuja, where she highlighted the huge potential of the Creative Economy to generate employment opportunities for millions of young Nigerians.

What the Minister is saying

  • Musawa, who was enthusiastic about the programme said, “With eager anticipation from the creative community, the IDICE fund emerges as a landmark transaction, providing a strategic platform for directing additional long-term financing into this dynamic sector.
  • “We are delighted that the conditions precedent for the release of IDICE funds are nearing completion. We eagerly anticipate providing start-up funds to young creatives, facilitating the development and monetisation of their talents.’’

The Minister commended AfDB and other parties to the transaction for the remarkable achievement, now being emulated by other African nations.

She applauded the impact investment focus which includes elements such as geographical spread, first loss position of the FGN and grants for capacity development, stressing that her ministry will reflect this spirit in its nationwide awareness campaign on the initiative.

Minister Musawa highlighted that the IDICE structure offers a platform through which the fundraising initiatives of her Ministry can be secured and assured that this opportunity will be thoroughly explored.

She added, “Nigeria, having solidified its position as a global hub for music, film, and visual art, is strategically positioning itself to leverage the IDICE funds. This move aims to consolidate its global standing and propel further expansion within the creative industry, in subsectors such as Design, Gaming, Content Creation, Animation, Culinary Arts, and Publishing.’’

AfDB appoints BOI as execution agency

Mr. Barrow, an integral part of the collaborative effort, provided insight into the fund structure, clarifying that IDICE is built around a world-class governance framework, incorporating a Steering Committee that includes Minister Musawa.

He said, “AfDB has appointed the Bank of Industry as the executing agency to manage program implementation, reporting directly to the steering committee. The initiative is set to forge strategic partnerships with selected Universities and Polytechnics, major technology companies and key players in the private sector.

Acknowledging the eagerness of the creative community, Barrow stated, “The youth are understandably impatient. Since the approval of IDICE, we receive daily inquiries about the launch. While the processes are intricate, we are on the verge of the roll-out phase.”

What you should know

IDICE, which stands for Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises, is an initiative spearheaded by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It aims to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and creative industries, as well as addresses the challenges of access to risk capital and innovation ecosystem capacity faced by start-ups.

IDICE comprises 2 major components: the intervention fund, a $147 million fund supporting enterprise and skills development, and the sectoral fund, a $433 million fund divided into 3 categories:

  • Creative Fund: Equity or quasi-equity to start-ups and SMEs in the creative sector.
  • Tech Fund: Equity or quasi-equity to innovative early-stage and growth-stage start-ups.
  • Fund of Funds: Participations in closed-end Venture Capital Funds or Creative Business- focused funds.

This transformative fund is poised to unleash unparalleled growth, with the potential to catalyse over $1 billion of growth in the creative economy upon full deployment.


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