What is the next frontier for Africa’s creative sector?

What is the next frontier for Africa’s creative sector?

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In recent years, Africa’s creative sector has grown significantly, with African music and movies reaching a more global audience. For experts who spoke at a panel session on the creative economy at the second Africa Social Impact Summit, the continent has only scratched the surface.

The African creative sector has experienced growth in recent years, particularly in music and movies, but experts believe that the continent's creative potential has only begun to be tapped. Despite being part of a billion-dollar global creative economy, Africa's share remains disproportionately small, accounting for only around 2.9% of global creative goods exports. Challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited funding and markets, intellectual property issues, and regulatory gaps have hindered the sector's monetization.

Several home-grown solutions have attempted to address monetization challenges, like Selar, which paid over $4.5 million to African creators last year. However, industry insiders emphasize that fundamental issues related to infrastructure, funding, and regulations must be addressed collectively. These points were highlighted during a panel session at the Africa Social Impact Summit, featuring representatives from Trace, Omniverse, British Council, and Nigerian film industry associations.

Streaming platforms are considered the next frontier for Africa's creative sector. The rise of streaming services has allowed musicians and filmmakers to reach a global audience, boosting their earnings. Platforms like Netflix and Prime Video have expanded their presence in Africa, while home-grown platforms such as Wi-flix are also striving to cater to the African market. Streaming has proven to be transformative for both music and film industries, as Nigerian musicians earned significant revenue from Spotify in 2022, and filmmakers benefit from direct-to-streaming deals.

Investments remain a major challenge for the growth of Africa's creative sector. Despite the sector's potential, lack of sustainable investments limits its development. Experts stress the need for strategic investments and research to understand the realities of the local ecosystem. Additionally, the domestic market in countries like Nigeria presents significant opportunities, and there's a call for investors to engage with the sector more intentionally to foster growth and change outdated perceptions.

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