Vivendi Group, a subsidiary of French Bolloré Holdings is set to invest $40 million in Rwanda, after a partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
The deal will see Vivendi Group develop and occupy the Kigali Cultural Village (KCV) in a bid to diversify Rwanda’s tourism offering by opening up new cultural entertainment avenues.
According to Clare Akamanzi, the RDB Chief Executive Officer: “RDB welcomes this new investment as we seek to diversify Rwanda’s tourism offerings and increase annual receipts to US$ 800 million by 2024. This investment is a good step forward for the country’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) strategy that has been growing remarkably over the years.”
The deal is expected to see thousands of Rwandans get jobs in the arts industry and gain skills that they will be able to earn sustainably from and even export to the region.
Vivendi Group, will, under the 20-year lease agreement spend between US$ 3-4 million in Phase 1 of the project to build a 300-seat modern cinema hall, a 15,000-people open concert area, a food court and a children’s gaming area. The facility will run on sustainable energy in the first six months.
Sitting on 30.1 hectares, Vivendi Group and the KCV will develop facilities intended to showcase Rwanda’s traditional and contemporary arts, nature, biodiversity, traditional lifestyle and history.
The facilities will host 19 movie sessions a week, live concerts, cultural and artistic festivals, seminars and conferences.
Phase two will be initiated on completion of phase one and will include Universal recording studios, Escape games, Gameloft E-gaming laboratory and testing factory, a children’s playground, bars and restaurants and the Canal Factory.
The Canal Factory, a modern, compact TV, cinema and music recording studio will be dedicated to Rwandan talents and students desiring to be trained in the fields of cinematography.
Vivendi Group owns the French TV channel and movie producer Canal+ Group, as well as music world leader Universal Music Group, book publisher Editis, communication company Havas, video games company Gameloft, and video hosting service Dailymotion.
The decision to invest in Rwanda came after French investors, among them President of Bolloré Holdings Cyrille Bolloré, visited the country in January 2018. In a meeting with RDB, investment opportunities in different sectors including tourism were highlighted.
“We are glad this investment will be Vivendi’s first in East Africa. I am confident that Rwanda will not only become a regional entertainment and cultural hub, we shall soon be developing and exporting entertainment and cultural industry talent in the coming years,” concluded Akamanzi.
The KCV project, which is located on Rebero Hill in Kicukiro Sector. According to the FT, Vivendi has entered into preliminary negotiations with Tencent for a strategic investment totaling 10% of the share capital of Universal Music Group (UMG) at a preliminary equity valuation of €30 billion for 100% of UMG. In addition, Tencent would have a one-year call option to acquire an additional 10% at the same price and terms.
Vivendi and Tencent are also concurrently considering areas of strategic commercial cooperation. In this context, Vivendi is keen to explore enhanced cooperation which could help UMG capture growth opportunities offered by the digitalization and the opening of new markets. The deal is expected to improve the promotion of UMG’s artists, with whom UMG has created the greatest catalogue of recordings and songs ever, as well as identify and promote new talents in new markets.
Recently, Vivendi’s CANAL+ Group acquired Lagos-based ROK, an IROKO+ incubated African film studio and international TV network as it looks to strengthen its content production reach in Nigeria and across Africa.
ROK will produce thousands more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for CANAL+ Group’s audiences in FSA while CANAL+ Group will continue to collaborate with IROKO Ltd, with non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via the IROKOtv SVOD app.
Launched in 2013, ROK Studios is a top African film and television studio and production house based in Lagos, Nigeria. ROK owns one of the largest content libraries in Nigeria, with blockbuster films and series, as well as an Animation Studio called ROK Animations Studios.
In Africa alone, ROK has produced over 540 movies and 25 original TV series, making ROK one of the most prolific production houses in Nollywood.
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