Africa’s creative industry generates billions in potential revenue


Burna Boy, Diamond Platinumz, Amil Shivji, Clarence Peters, Justin Campos, Wizkid, Tems, Omah Lay and Sauti Sol are some of the leading hitmakers, filmmakers and producers bringing Africa to life in the fields of creativity.

Digital platforms, more than ever, bridge the gap between creativity and dissemination. Artisans, musicians and filmmakers are currently accessing larger and hungrier audiences around the world.

  • Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya are among the most active creative markets in Africa.
  • Davido, Burna Boy, Sauti Sol and Rayvanny are some of the African artists that make Africa proud.
  • Africa’s creative and entertainment industry is now impacting local economies in the region.

Modern streaming technologies game-changing, especially for emerging economies. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has noted that across Africa, revenues from digital music streaming are expected to reach $500 million by 2025, up from just $100 million in 2017. .

As the world develops faster, the way we consume entertainment materials is changing and space. Streaming platforms such as Boomplay are registering massive subscribers and streamers, adding value to upcoming artists and their works while growing industries in various markets.

Emerging creative markets such as Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are witnessing a significant migration of habits and preferences from traditional modes of creativity and consumption to modern approaches.

Mobile appthe streaming website, social media platforms, and music and film festivals are fertile ground for spotting new talent and gaining fans, followers, and revenue.

East Africa is now watching home-produced soap operas and movies on TV. Music festivals such as Fiesta in Tanzania and the pan-African Sauti za Busara festival set the stage to define true African art.

Whether online or offline, African creatives in all spheres can reap billions from their ingenuity if the environment they come from is conducive enough to compete with other established markets.

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Create in Africa

Music and cinema are turning the tide of creation and entertainment across the continent. Creatives in Africa are now being crowned and showcased by other established artists in the developed world, signaling the potential of the creative industry in Africa.

More than 2,500 films are shot every year in Nigeria’s cinema hub, “Nollywood”. As modern film technologies spread across Africa, more works are now being made in other developing industries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considers the audiovisual sector to be a honeypot, but it is largely untapped. The industry is estimated to represent $5 billion in revenue in Africa out of a potential $20 billion and employs at least 5 million people.

Globally, the cultural and creative industries are estimated to generate around $2.25 trillion annually, or 3% of global GDP, and employ around 30 million people worldwide (UNESCO).

Unfortunately, UNESCO points out that Africa and the Middle East represent only 3% of world trade. On the other hand, the sector can spread its wings and produce more beneficial results for governments and artists.

“The film and audiovisual industries have the potential to create more than 20 million jobs and generate $20 billion in revenue per year,” according to a UNESCO study.

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Against this backdrop, African films are now getting the attention they deserve as African filmmakers strive to bring the region’s best stories to the fore. Tanzania’s first Oscar bid, widely known as the Oscars, is inspiring East African production companies to step up their game.

The African music industry has turned into a set of trends. From dance styles, cinematography, clothing, and melody, creatives are injecting new ideas and working into the market, putting a noticeable dent.

Over the past few years, African creatives have been storming international platforms and markets with vigor and strategy.

Songs by Nigerian artists Wizkid Ft. Tems and Ckay have topped Shazam’s global searches and charts for the past few months. At the same time, the number of African nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards is unprecedented (UN – Africa Renewal).

Moreover, African fashion – powered by a generation of innovative designers, local and diaspora markets, new supporting platforms and fashion weeks in Dakar, Kampala and Addis Ababa, no less impactful than their more known in Lagos and South Africa – is increasingly reaching new markets and honoring global podiums.

Therefore, in this context, creatives are entering other competitive spaces around the world. According to the UN, through a partnership with Afreximbank, 20 African fashion designers had the chance to show off their creativity at Portugal Fashion Week in October 2021.

Along the same lines, creators such as musicians, comedians, designers, and others who leverage social media platforms to directly reach audiences and monetize access are an essential part of this industry.

African governments are not only doing their best to put in place institutional frameworks, but they are fostering the growth of stable systems to benefit from the consumption and dissemination of their creative works.

Tanzania has successfully established foundations that leverage creative industry registration, monitoring and regulation to ensure that artists’ rights and content are compliant with laws and fairly compensated.

As a new front of highly competitive audiovisual content producers, East and West Africa are now moving in rather unique ways by creating their own version of storytelling and presentation, which creates ultimately lasting value.

Currently, comedians from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are forging a solid foundation within comedy as a genre. Over the past five years, a new wave of crossover events has boosted upcoming artists who now have a healthy chance to expand and develop their careers by gaining wider audiences across the block.

Kenyan and Ugandan performers are now filling stadiums and halls with loyal overseas fans. Additionally, the ingenuity of modern technology has migrated to entertainment consumption and changed the ways of watching and interacting with content.

For the first time ever, the comedy skits are getting real-time interactions through social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter. Performers interact with their audience and get real-time feedback, which can be harnessed as the marketing and promotional fuel needed to drive production and delivery across space and time.

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Stand-up comedy platforms such as Churchill in Kenya and Cheka Tu in Tanzania not only challenge old forms of presentation and branding humor, but also add value to the most popular art form. infectious disease that is now getting a lot of attention in East Africa as artists get loft approval and tickets return. .

A great example is Coco Emiliethe Cameroonian fashion entrepreneur who has leveraged her 2.6 million Instagram followers to build multiple fashion and beauty businesses (UN).

“Of Edith Brouthe Ivorian digital activist and television personality, at Saad Lamjarreda Moroccan singer-songwriter who used his social media to help mainstream Moroccan pop, African creatives are now using social media and digital technology to reach new audiences, build new businesses and advocate for issues that are important to them and their communities,” UN Africa Renewal.

Across all creative sectors, Africans are actively leveraging existing opportunities already on the continent to create new opportunities in “Cretech” and breaking through some of the barriers affecting their markets.

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