Sarit Center, Nairobi
Oct 9-12, 2024

African Filmaker

African Cinema Can Create 20 Million Film Jobs, But There Are Issues

In recent years, Africa has seen an increase in film production and distribution, while streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ are fostering a new and alternative economy for African moviemakers.

According to a UNESCO assessment, the movie industry in Africa employs over 5 million people and contributes $5 billion to the continent’s GDP.

According to UNESCO’s first comprehensive research on Africa’s cinema industry, while there are many brilliant filmmakers on the continent, the African cinema industry has historically and structurally been underfunded, underdeveloped, and underestimated.

Also read: The African Film Industry: Growth and Challenges

The film industry has the potential to generate 20 million jobs
A cameraman shoots a scene for the movie “October 1”, a police thriller directed by Kunle Afolayan, at a rural location in Ilaramokin village, southwest Nigeria August 24, 2013. Image Courtesy: REUTERS

According to the report, the industry is flourishing and has the potential to generate 20 million jobs and $20 billion in income annually. However, Africa’s potential as a cinema production center remains mostly untapped.

Nigeria is an excellent example of achievement in this area. Every year, Nigeria’s “Nollywood” movie industry produces 2500 movies. It is the largest movie industry in Africa and the globe, trailing only India’s Bollywood in terms of volume.

Currently, the continent has 1,651 screens, which equates to one movie screen per 787,402 inhabitants.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused cinemas across the continent to close, raising concerns that film distribution may cease to exist in some nations permanently.

Piracy is an issue in the film business as well. The UNESCO report predicts that piracy costs 50 percent of potential revenue, though precise data doesn’t exist. 

Additionally, the survey discovered that only 19 out of 54 African countries provide financial assistance to filmmakers.

The research cites further challenges, such as restrictions on freedom of expression, education, training, and internet connectivity.

“We need to strengthen international cooperation to enable filmmakers of all countries, in particular developing countries, to express themselves and develop cultural and creative industries that are viable and competitive both nationally and internationally,” Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, said.

The Africa unicorn summit’s mission
Actress Thandie Newton and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, right, act in the movie ”Half of a yellow sun” in Calabar, Nigeria, May 17, 2012. Image Courtesy

The Africa Unicorn Summit aims to do just that. By bringing together policymakers and movie experts, the summit hopes to foster collaborations that will help in solving the current setbacks being experienced in the industry.

If filmmaking is your ‘joie de vie’, secure your ticket NOW and get ready to mingle with movie icons.

Shopping Cart
  • Your cart is empty.
Scroll to Top