CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are collaborating on a new long-term initiative to showcase, empower and tell the stories of emerging and expanding businesses – known as scale-up companies – across Africa.
In the first partnership of its kind, CNNIC has combined a rich suite of branded content and sponsorship solutions across multiple platforms with Evolve, a brand-new commercial offering to engage CNN’s audiences around the world in a new way about African business and innovation.
In this inaugural Evolve initiative, CNNIC will work together with experts in finance, innovation and investment from Afreximbank, the pan-African multilateral export-import bank, to offer an industry- first scheme that connects Africa’s best scale-ups with investors and customers as well as encouraging intra-African trade.
Starting with a shortlist of 100 high-growth African scale-ups, a final 10 will be selected to take part in the Evolve scheme, with Afreximbank advising and supporting the finalists by offering its expertise across a range of sectors including FinTech and AgriTech. The 10 successful companies will participate in a project designed to establish impactful partnerships and pilots between the companies and a top- tier corporate and investor network taking place across a series of events and meetings over 12 months.
The stories of these companies will be told by CNNIC’s in-house studio Create, which will produce branded content that captures highlights of the growth programme and illustrates Afreximbank’s history and support of innovation and cross-continent commerce. Through film, native content and pre-roll video across CNN platforms and social media, the initiative will be promoted to a global audience, raising the profile of the companies involved as well as Afreximbank’s role in the initiative.
Additionally, Afreximbank is the exclusive sponsor for a new editorial series on CNN International TV, digital and social. Airing from December 2020, Connecting Africa is a new 30-minute monthly show hosted by Eleni Giokos which profiles the people, projects and companies revolutionizing African business and bringing the continent together by championing trade and expansion, reflecting the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. This is the fifth Africa-focused programme currently running on CNN International and reinforces the network’s commitment to reporting on the continent’s brightest talent, smartest businesses, and vibrant culture.
Rob Bradley, Senior Vice President, CNN International Commercial, said: “This is a first for CNN, and we’re excited to be teaming up with Afreximbank to launch the Evolve initiative. Evolve has been designed to create a legacy of success and impact for the continent, with Afreximbank as the ideal collaborator which is passionate about boosting economic relationships and intra-African trade. This partnership exemplifies our Audience First as we work closely with our partner Afreximbank to bring a unique experience to CNN audiences in an innovative way about how African entrepreneurs are expanding their operations and capabilities to drive the continent’s economic integration, diversification and growth.”
Prof Benedict Oramah, President, Afreximbank, said: “We are excited to be collaborating with CNN on this unique campaign. As a Pan African multilateral institution mandated to finance and promote intra- and extra-African trade, it is imperative that we leverage strong global partnerships to facilitate the growth of African firms, foster innovation, promote intra-African trade and enable access to global
markets. Africa’s flourishing business success stories must be told, the African way, to the world. We look forward, through this program, to inspire African entrepreneurs so that they can evolve into global champions while fostering a connected continent.