Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

A brighter look ahead- Africa’s entertainment industry

Article from AFRIC Editorial
Africa’s entertainment and media industry has entered a dynamic new phase - a turning point, which finally has a story to tell. The definition and borders that once sidelined the Africa entertainment industry are slowly faded out due to the massive change of consumer orientation and taste, all boiling down to digitalization. The entertainment industry including music. Comedy, movies, media, etc. in Africa was once a drying lake, in recent times there is a totally different picture of the industry. Entertainment in Africa is now seen as one of the industry boosting the economies of the region.

Countries like South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya are leading the pathway in the industry and are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.The industry growth in Africa has gone through diverse transformations not abandoning the consumption and audience involved in the process growing in leaps and bounds into a better revolution and economically benefiting, whiles gaining global recognition.
In Nigeria, music, for instance, is one of the fastest-growing sectors. The earliest forms of entertainment in Africa were storytelling, riddles, and the traditional dance which came at no cost usually not done by non-professionals. These forms of entertainment have been blurred out since the discovery of knowledge of how lucrative the entertainment industry can be.

Many African entertainers have unapologetically turned the waves of the entertainment sector tapping into the unexploited talents and markets. Digging deep into comedy, video games, and diversifying and expanding the movie industry, which largely adds up to the media industry.
In Tanzania, revenue generated from the entertainment and media industry was US$496 million in 2017, Nigeria recorded US$3.8 billion, Ghana, on the other hand, tripled its value since 2013 and ended up US$752 million also in 2017 according to PwC reports. So clearly the revenue generated so far tells a clear positive story of how the industry which will soon escalate into massive income. The roots of this growth are purely organic fishing out for talents, creativity, content, etc.
Due to African’s original talents and creativity, the industry has attracted so many global icons which in some time past would never happen. Strategic and meaningful collaborations have been birthed which put Africa on the global. Such collaborations include Nigerian Afro-pop star Wizkid and hip-pop artiste Drake, Superstar Beyoncé and Ghanaian dance hall king Shatta Wale, etc. coming together to make some of the best collaboration in music history. These collaboration positions African artists on international platforms like Spotify, BET Awards amplifying their music, leading to economic growth.

Despite this upgrade and success, the industry still has issues. Many pundits in the entertainment and media sector agree the entertainment industry can be the next big sector for African development, and a thriving economy however it is believed that the industry still lacks resources, investment, an enabling environment, weak intellectual property law combined with piracy issues, poor distribution networks, and pre-requisite skills to promote the industryand it is a common problem across all African countries. In terms of resources and investment, which provides an enabling environment which is very critical. Although resources found in the industry is not too bad, a greater push will satisfy the matter. This dynamic push positions the industry as a business, making our products, and talents as a unique selling point which come along with passion. The world is now a closer home for everyone, thus our content should be globally homogeneous, however still, maintaining local elements and sting of global cultures. The protection of intellectual property and piracy of media products is a bigger concern throughout the region, which needs proactive solutions, policies, documentation that protects these hard works of entertainers.

The creation of formal systems would go a long way to curb piracy and the act would be eradicated, people involved in these acts always go unpunished thus piracy is rampant and the high. The poor distribution network or system in the African entertainment is one of the obstacles stunting the growth of the sector, due to this menace, there is an outdoor of piracy; illegal distribution and copying without paying royalties to the owner. Leading entertainers to sell little or no copies of their work, such shame.
The privacy menace is almost another business empire, illegal but strongly exists!!! Thanks to online platform platforms like YouTube, which rewards entertainers, these online distribution platforms break the stronghold of pirates and putting entertainers directly to their consumers.
These challenges notwithstanding, exist, though they may not be so huge and can easily be easily tackled, however, if not worked on it will escalate into bigger problems, which would drag the growth achieved back.

The platform has been set for the African entertainment and media industry to grab the better part of the global entertainment and media industry.
So far, the Entertainment industry looks brighter but to succeed more, we as Africans need to revision every aspect of the industry into structure, goals, have a designed plan to engage audiences. At the end of the day, audiences determined what the brand is and how far it can go locally and globally. Consistent push and effort will take us far, who knows maybe a Grammys might land on the soil of the continent soon if these measures are put in place.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo Credit: google image/ illustration

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