Landmark report highlights untapped potential of Africa’s film industry

The report aims to help the African film industry, and cultural decision-makers, to map the current landscape and plan strategically for future growth

Africa’s film and audiovisual industries could create over 20 million jobs and contribute US$20 billion to the continent’s combined gross domestic product, the UN cultural agency UNESCO says in a new report highlighting this untapped potential.

The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth report is the first ever mapping of the sector, which employs approximately five million people and accounts for $5 billion in GDP across Africa.

Make creativity viable

Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO director general, presented the report in Paris alongside the esteemed film-makers Abderrahmane Sissako of Mali/Mauritania and Mati Diop of France/Senegal.

“This landmark publication reflects on the importance of strengthening international co-operation to enable all countries, in particular developing countries, to develop cultural and creative industries that are viable and competitive both nationally and internationally,” she said.

The report aims to help the African film industry, and decision-makers, to take map the current landscape and plan strategically for future growth.

Give us more pictures

The report argues that Africa’s potential as a film powerhouse remains largely untapped, despite a significant growth in production across the continent.

Nigeria alone produces roughly 2,500 films a year.

Even though affordable digital film equipment and online platforms allow direct distribution to consumers, opening new avenues for content creators, Africa is the most underserved continent in terms of cinemas.

Currently, there is only one cinema screen per 787,402 people.

Lights, camera, piracy

The film industry also faces the significant problem of piracy.

The UNESCO report estimates that 50% to 75%-plus of revenue is lost to piracy, though precise data does not exist.

Moreover, just 19 out of 54 officially recognised African countries offer financial support to film-makers.

The report outlines further challenges, including limitations on freedom of expression, as well as education, training and internet connectivity.

“Public goods”

This year marks two decades since the adoption of a UNESCO Declaration which upholds cultural diversity as being as necessary to humanity as biodiversity is to nature.

Said Azoulay during commemorations of the anniversary, “We must raise our voice to reaffirm that films are indeed ‘public goods’ that require public support and investment to ensure equal access to creation, production, distribution, dissemination and consumption.”

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected