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Issue Brief September 24, 2018

Getting creative about development

By Aubrey Hruby

African film, music, and fashion are exploding in popularity on the global stage. From Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry to the visual arts in South Africa, creative and cultural industries (CCI) represent a new realm of economic op­portunity. From artists to distrib­utors, Africa’s creative economy is currently estimated to employ about half a million people, generates $4.2 billion in revenue, and is growing rapidly. In order to expand Africa’s share of the $2.25 trillion global entertainment market, African governments, busi­nesses, and investors should find innovative ways of supporting, promoting, and investing in CCI.

A new issue brief by Africa Center Senior Fellow Aubrey Hruby, Getting Creative About Development, provides a snapshot of the creative and cultural indus­tries in key African markets, discusses the trends under­girding the growth of CCI, outlines the challenges facing the industry, and offers policy recommendations. Africa has long been rich in talent and creativity, and in today’s maturing markets, African CCI has a significant role to play in eco­nomic development and the potential to stake its claim as part of the global mainstream.


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Image: South African musician Moonchild Sanelly performs live at the Africa House at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Photo credit: Adam Kealing