The contemporary African art market is in its nascent stages, similar to China in the late 80s and 90s. The continent is beginning to form a proper art infrastructure thanks to private sector initiatives which include museums, new galleries, art fairs, non-profit spaces and art foundations. Global demand for African contemporary art is growing dramatically. Within the continent this demand is being fueled by rising numbers of high net worth individuals and demand from African corporations. Internationally, more and more galleries, art fairs, collectors, museums and biennales are embracing African artists. Auction houses in major markets are experiencing growth in African art auctions and are seeing a gradual shift in the African contemporary art buyer base from mainly African art collectors to a more international and diverse group.
Africa First will have a strong social agenda. It will try to play a crucial role in promoting and disseminating African contemporary art. We will actively promote our collection and the individual artists, through a widespread lending program to galleries, exhibitions, museums and institutions around the world. The promotional activities will also include digital media presence, an artist residency program, a newsletter, and various forms of collaboration with other foundations and museums. These activities are essential for the advancement of the artists profiles and ultimately long-term value creation.
Julio Rizhi, Lesser Evils, Part 9, 2018.