Roundtable Discussion Unveils New Initiatives in Cross River’s Digital & Creative Economy

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Calabar – The Digital and Creative Economy Roundtable Discussion has held in Calabar the Cross River state capital has shed light on the extensive efforts being undertaken to bolster the creative and digital sub-sectors in the region. Spearheaded by Fegho John Umunubo, Special Assistant to the President on Digital & Creative Economy in collaboration with Great Ogban, Director-General of the Microfinance & Enterprise Development Agency, the event which held on Friday brought together industry stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities for growth NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

Fegho John Umunubo provided insights into the various initiatives targeting different subsectors of the creative economy. He highlighted the financial support given to comedy shows and film projects, emphasizing the importance of understanding and investing in the business side of creative endeavors. “Up till now we have supported close to 7 comedy shows, starting from Alibaba January 1st; we did AY live both in Lagos and Abuja. We also did it in Warri too,” Umunubo said.

He also mentioned the establishment of a N5 million creative fund, which has already supported filmmakers with grants. “One of the feedbacks we’ve gotten from that is that it’s not just the high budget films, there are also film projects that cost 10 million and they are also profitable. We can support that. It’s not until you bring a budget of 500 million before it’s considered. As long as it’s profitable we can support it,” Umunubo explained.

Umunubo emphasized the need for creatives to understand the business aspects of their industries and called for infrastructural development to support these sectors. “One of the lessons I have learned from that first phase is that a lot of creatives don’t think about business of creative. If you know your strength you can also bring other people that understand the business of creative to work with you,” he said.

He also discussed ongoing efforts in the fashion industry and the importance of training and capacity building. “Right now we have structures in two states to do training and also to build fashion hubs. We need to build infrastructure to support these businesses,” Umunubo stated.

The SA highlighted the significance of the I-Dash programme, a $617 million investment for digital and creative enterprises, and the Vice President’s directive for every state to benefit from this initiative. “My objective of coming here today is we are hoping that we will be able to train talents… Infrastructure will help the industry to grow,” Umunubo concluded.

Director-General Great Ogban emphasized the agency’s commitment to actualizing the governor’s vision for the agricultural and creative sectors. He noted the week’s busy schedule, highlighting the recent MSME conferences in Calabar and Port Harcourt. “For us to talk about the challenges because our guests get to know what the challenges are and possibly the opportunities where we can build on. I’m very excited that this is holding. It’s been a very hectic week for us,” Ogban stated.

DG Ogban further expressed optimism about the potential impacts of these initiatives. “We are happy that this is holding and we are looking forward to the amazing things that will begin to happen in the sector. The jobs that will be created. The economy that will be activated. And the ripple effect of whatever we are going to do,” he added.