AFRICA – The Africa Media Fund, launched in Sandton, Johannesburg, promises to take African media into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and market it to the world.
Spearheaded by diplomat, entrepreneur and social activist Dr Khumoetsile Moetse, the AMF is set to invest US$99.3m in large-scale infrastructure in media assets on the African continent.
It has a specific focus on existing networks in South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia and Tanzania. Expansion into Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and further afield, into the United States and Germany is also in the plan.
“The establishment of the Africa Media Fund is but one of many solutions to challenges of connectivity, broadcasting, broadband and practical elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” explained Moetse.
“The fund’s mandate is to invest in media infrastructure, and unlock opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution while stimulating entrepreneurship in the creative sector. We have three pillars, in so doing: education, entertainment and empowerment.”
The fund’s key priorities are to fast-track transformation within the film and broadcasting sector; partner with governments across the continent in closing funding gaps that exist in capitalising, distribute and market local content worldwide; and accelerate investments towards media infrastructure.
These are evident in their flagship programmes, which includes a data centre already in the first tier of development, a streaming facility, and a global African newsroom.
It is also looking to further invest in innovation hubs, play-out facilities, data centres, broadcasting technology broadcasting channels, post-production facilities, film studio and AVR equipment.
“Media as an asset class in Africa has not taken off as fast as in other jurisdictions around the world, due to its negative perception centred around. Whoever owns the money, owns the media asset, and dictates the content and distribution,” notes Moetse.
AMF promises socio-economic impact across the media ecosystem, from content on demand to AI capabilities and more.
AMF is more than a funding and development opportunity for aspiring media players – the intention is to offer a platform for investors that will not only impact job creation and poverty alleviation on the continent, but also grow a sustainable, profitable industry that impacts the world.