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U.S. Assistant Secretary emphasizes intellectual property protection for Nigeria’s creative economy at Africa Creative Market

Ramin Toloui, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, underscores the importance of intellectual property rights for Nigeria's burgeoning creative sector during a keynote address at the Africa Creative Market in Lagos

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In his first visit to Nigeria, Assistant Secretary Ramin Toloui commended the vibrant energy of Lagos and expressed delight at participating in intellectual property (IP) programming within the Africa Creative Market. Hosted by Ascend Foundation Studios in collaboration with partners Paramount, 21st Century Technologies, and the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, the event brought together key stakeholders in the creative industry.

Toloui, responsible for coordinating economic efforts between countries, highlighted the long-standing collaboration between the U.S. and African creative industries. He emphasized the significance of protecting intellectual property rights to ensure fair compensation for creative endeavors and facilitate global collaboration.

The Assistant Secretary praised the remarkable growth of Nigeria’s creative sector, citing instances such as Burna Boy’s historic U.S. stadium sell-out and Rema’s chart-topping collaboration with Selena Gomez. He acknowledged the rising demand for Nigerian content globally and the potential for the country’s creative industries to become a major export sector, creating millions of jobs and contributing significantly to the GDP.

Referencing the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit’s commitment to the economic potential of creative industries, Toloui outlined the U.S. government’s dedication to fostering collaborations in film, television, music, the arts, sports, gaming, and technology. He highlighted the importance of intellectual property protection in monetizing creative work and attracting investments.

Toloui drew attention to the economic impact of the creative sector, which constitutes 3.1% of global GDP and generates over $2 trillion in annual revenues. He emphasized the U.S. government’s support for Nigeria’s Destination 2030 Initiative and the need for a conducive policy and regulatory environment.

The Assistant Secretary shared the U.S. government’s longstanding support for Nigeria’s creative economy, including capacity-building initiatives, exchanges with American experts, and sponsorship of IPR lawyers. He announced ongoing support for the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and collaborations between Nigerian and American creatives.

As discussions and breakout sessions unfolded at the Africa Creative Market, Toloui expressed optimism about leveraging IP protections to drive the growth of creative businesses in Nigeria. The event marked another step in the ongoing collaboration between the U.S. and Nigeria to strengthen ties and promote sustainable economic opportunities within the creative sector.

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