Editorial: Television Industry Africa’s Next Economic, Investment Jackpot

Written by Kimberly Jacobs

“Any system that boosts the quantity and quality of content production on the continent is great for VOD services like Buni TV,” she added, explaining that digital broadcast technology will also impact TV programs and services which extend to mobile and web platforms.

Ushering in Film Through TV Industry Success

Like people from all ethnic backgrounds, Africans enjoy seeing television shows that are created for them. When youth and content creators see identifiable shows, it brings a sense of pride, which influences their creativity. With institutions like Kenya’s United States International University fostering and pushing students to have ideas that are not only for Kenyans but for a wider audience — a bridge to business credibility is created. This kind of thinking and integrity is what moves the industry’s economy ahead. It also opens the gate for TV industry successes to mesh with the rising film industry.

“The film Industry has been identified as a key growth industry with great potential to spur economic growth and help in the realization of vision 2030 through investment and employment creation. The Kenyan entertainment industry is worth approximately KShs 8.6 billion ($100 million),” Actors stated in a Kenya Ministry of Information and Communications blog post.

“The industry is comprised of the broadcasting, cinematic, theatrical music and interactive industries. Of this figure, the film and television industry including documentaries and advertising commercial is worth Kshs 4 billion ($46.5 million) and employs approximately 15,000 people.”

The growth in television ideas that turn into flim productions can lead to greater exposure around the world, such as with Usoni. This encourages financial industry growth —  especially with the increasing ability to gain a following and reach global audiences through technology and social networking.

African films are beginning to gain recognition at international box offices with hits such as “Nairobi Half Life,” grossing $963 million worldwide. This was the first Kenyan film to be selected for the 85th Academy Award’s Best Foreign Language entry. Although it didn’t make the shortlist, by entering into international film festivals, the film is creating and encouraging a platform at home for award shows and film festivals around the continent.

With the government, broadcast companies, young people and students —  who have the skills to produce and access resources — working together, the movement is both unbounded and unstoppable.

Now is a time to continue to watch Africa’s TV and film industry flourish before our eyes.