African film industries are reportedly slated to grow four times in revenue to $20 billion (£15 billion) and generate 20 million more jobs in creative industries, as per a report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
For the unversed, the cinema industry in Nigeria, also referred to as “Nollywood”, is the second largest film industry in the world in terms of output. The UNESCO report touted the film industries in Nigeria and Senegal as examples of African nations with definite business models and growing avenues for local film productions – highly sought after by television and streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix.
Evidently, most creative industries in the continent were grossly underserved, partially owing to the failure of local authorities and policymakers to invest in and protect audio-visual industries. The report seemingly unveiled the potential for adding 20 million jobs to the existing 5 million across African nations.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO director-general stated that the report assessed the shortcomings and capacity of the film and audio industries of each country and showcased the great potential of the continent’s audio-visual sector with respect to both growth and creativity.
Azoulay also emphasized the need to strengthen international co-operation to help filmmakers of all countries express themselves and build competitive and viable creative and cultural industries.
The report was apparently commissioned following a 2019 meeting between Africa’s culture ministers. It weighed methods for majorly low-income countries to boost growth in creative industries, claim reliable sources.
The findings and recommendations of the report is scheduled for discussion in a meeting of key stakeholders in Africa’s film and culture industries at the Pan-African Festival of Cinema and Television later this month in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The report suggested that while several African nations were adopting different models for growing their film industries, most were struggling to achieve sustainable growth. It further added that increasing affordability of digital cinematographic equipment has been favorable for newer generations of directors in countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Kenya.
It is worth noting that platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, and local mobile video services have introduced novel ways of distributing and monetizing live content. According to the report, these changes have triggered the emergence of a new economy for content creators in Africa who are now doing without conventional players in the sector.