Africa’s cultural and creative industries

This week’s Wednesday Scribbles focuses on Africa’s cultural and creative industries. Sectors like fashion, media and entertainment are attracting the interest of investors, the support of local institutions and the ingenuity of entrepreneurs.

Quote of the week

“Building up Africa’s creative industries will lead to a more sustainable and faster economic transformation, will give hope and livelihoods to Africa’s creative youth, and keep the talent at home”
- Emanuela Gregorio, Economist, Africa Development Bank



The rise of Africa’s Fashionomics

According to a recent report by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the textile and clothing market in Africa is worth more than $31 billion, it is the second largest employer and expected to generate $15.5 billion in revenues in next 5 years.

The AfDB launched the initiative Fashionomics with the aim to improve access to credit for MSMEs working in the fashion industry and to offer an online platform to share tools, resources and facilitate business matchmaking.

Heva Fund provides financing to early-stage businesses in the creative industry. The fund offers two ticket-sizes, one of up to Ksh.1Million (US$ 9,800), and the other up to Ksh.10Million ($ 98,000).

Kenya’s Equity Bank has coupled a credit facility with a financial education component to offer businesses in the fashion industry access to capital. The bank offers loans up to Ksh.100Million ($980,000).

Hello Pretty is an online platform for South Africans to buy and sell handmade crafts. In one year, revenues and users have tripled and now feature almost 24,000 products.


Nigeria’s Nollywood, culture and creative industries of Africa

Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry is one of the largest in the world. It is the country’s most important source of jobs after agriculture and currently accounts for N. 854 billion ($7.2 billion), equal to 1.4 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.

Comic Republic is a creative startup creating a world of African superheroes; it is an example of the African creativity appreciated worldwide. In fact, more than half of the weekly downloads come from US and UK, and from around other countries such as Brazil and Philippines.

iROKO, an online entertainment platform, has successfully tailored its business model to the needs of mobile users in Africa; rather than streaming content, it allows users to download it. The startup can be seen as the African equivalent of Netflix, and after raising $19 million from private investors, it plans to support the production of Nollywood movies.

Innovation hubs, co-working and maker-spaces are becoming the epicentre of creativity and entrepreneurship in Africa. Angola’s Fábrica de Sabão aims to nurture young African startups and support urban manufacturing creativity. Here is the list of the top 25 tech-hub spaces in Africa.

Young population, increasing mobile and internet penetration are key drivers for the boom of Africa’s creative industries. In Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, the media and entertainment segments are expected to grow at a faster rate than the world’s average. This data shows the potential and the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Cultural and Creative Industries in the African continent.


Image of the week

The global total revenue of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) is $2,250 billion, accounting for 3% of the world’s GDP. In Africa, CCIs generate $58 billion in revenues and employ 2.4 million people.



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