Africa Walk, an initiative by investment firm Platform Capital, was created to change the narrative that the continent’s creative scenery that discourages investors from discovering the potentials Africa has to offer.

Africa Walk was set up to advertise these untapped potentials in the movies, art, and food industries to drive continuous and sustainable investments in the continent. The initiative is a yearly affair conveying stakeholders, investors, and organizations to live the African potential. The upcoming one will showcase creativity in music, movies, fashion, art, and food industries.

Dr. Akintoye Akindele who is the founder of Platform Capital said about the initiative: “We started this to quell the negative stereotypes that make investors shy away from the opportunities and potential of the continent.” The inaugural event in 2021 provided an agnostic view of the small and medium enterprise landscape in Nigeria and Kenya. In the second edition, Africa Walk journeyed investors to South Africa and Nigeria, where they delved into the booming tech ecosystem. The third edition, themed “Unleashing the Value and Potential of the African Creative Industry”, will take place in Senegal ( July 24-28) and Nigeria (July 29-31).

Since the commencement of the initiative, it has always systematically planned for nations to select, using their distinctive robustness and characteristics as criteria. For example, this year’s event which is the 3rd edition will take place in both Nigeria’s francophone-speaking county and Senegal, an anglophone-speaking country. The founder stated that “We want to show that language is not a barrier but a bridge. So, the Africa Walk will start from Dakar and then end in Nigeria.” Senegal was a choice amongst all the other francophone countries, simply because it possesses the highest number of international traffic, tourism attractions, and a world-class IT framework that aids the creative sector. Mr. Akindele further explained that “From Dakar, investors and stakeholders will continue their journey to Cote d’Ivoire before concluding in Nigeria.”

As much as the continent boasts of such great potential in the creative sector, the narrative that Africa does not have the right platform to attract investors is still lingering. “African artists like Rema have made millions of streams on foreign streaming platforms. Nollywood movies are grossing millions of naira at the box office, how can foreign and local investors get a piece of that?” Akindele asked rhetorically. This year’s Africa Walk will tend to such rhetoric by having deep intuitive conversations with major investors amongst which is Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.

Mr. Akindele lamented about the fact that the industry is still pigeonholed even within the continent, saying, “Parents want their children to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, but no one walks up to write exams for admission into university thinking that they want to be an actor or a comedian, or an artiste. There is low regard for the professions in the creative industry.” In order to stop this taint, and advertise the worth of the industry, Africa Walk will showcase professionals in the industry that have excelled in their art as hosts, amongst which will be thespians and performers. Their rise to fame will encourage people to appreciate and respect the industry just as they do other professionals.

The initiative is simply different from the regular event type and is more than just an event of conversations; it conveys artists, innovators, strategists, and organizations to be part of intuitive discussions. Apart from the discussions, it also offers participants with clearer insights into the creative sectors in each African country and a deeper experience of the local tradition. Traditions such as local dishes, various types of art & culture, and talent shows bring to life the community’s innovation and originality.

About 200 million dollars has been raised for investments through the event in the past 2 years to African organizations. Platform capital hopes to encourage more investments in the continent’s creative sector with the initiative.

Olatoyosi Esuola loves art, poetry, and spoken words. He is a big fan of jazz music and movies, which is why he see everyone as actors here on earth getting their takes. He has been writing poetry and articles for over a decade and has published a book of poems.

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