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Nigeria's creative industry has potential to become largest export sector– US official



Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary for economic and business affairs, United States department of state, says the US government is willing to invest in Nigeria's creative economy.

Toloui spoke on Monday while addressing intellectual property protection at the Africa creative markets conference in Lagos.

The US official said the government had realised the potential in Africa's creative industry, especially in Nigeria and was beginning to get attracted to the sector.

"We have taken up this charge by focusing on a key piece of the puzzle that allows creatives to monetise their work and attract additional investment: intellectual property protection," Toloui said.

"You may be wondering why the U.S. government, in its partnership with the government of Nigeria, would highlight the creative industries or the IP protections that support the sector, among all the priorities we work on together.

"It is simple. The cultural sector alone accounts for 3.1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). The creative industries generate annual revenues of over $2 trillion and account for nearly 50 million jobs worldwide according to the UN conference on trade and development, and that's not all.

"Nigeria's creative industries have the potential to become Nigeria's largest export sector and could create an estimated 2.7 million jobs by 2050 for the country's growing youth population, and $100 billion to Nigeria's GDP by 2030."

Speaking further, Toloui said the US government is "so delighted to see Nigeria continuing to invest in the growth of the creative industries with the newly announced Destination 2030 Initiative".

He added that for the 9th consecutive year, the U.S. mission in Nigeria is supporting the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) to further strengthen the collaboration between the Nigerian and American film industries.

"This year we are providing funding for capacity-building training for emerging filmmakers and directors. We are bringing back the global media makers from California to conduct masterclasses for film directors during this year's AFRIFF," he added.

"These connections between Nigerian and American creatives are simultaneously helping our people and economies.

"Several US film and entertainment companies, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount, are making large investments in the Nigerian market and are seeing strong prospects for future investments. I want to see many more investments and increased commercial ties."

He also said Nigeria is a powerhouse of creativity, and the US government was ready to stand in steadfast partnership to support the conditions that allow creatives to thrive.

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