EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL HIDDEN IN OUR CREATIVE INDUSTRY
This month experienced a lot of creative events, so much that it has spurred us to explore the creative sector more closely. At a time in our continent, when our leaders are seeking ways to diversify the economy beyond oil, we believe that the creative industry presents an opportunity for this diversification.
The Creative Industry Federation defines the Creative Industry as those industries that have their origin in human creativity, skill, and talent with the potential for wealth and job creation through the exploitation of intellectual property. The creative industry has a wide range of activities (including arts, crafts, design, fashion, film, performing arts, new media, photography music, games, etc.) which relate to the creation of creative information with the potential to be commercialized.
Creative industries contribute to job generation, innovation, and productivity. Though there is insufficient data available supporting the impact of the industry in Nigeria, statistics in some developed countries show a significant contribution to their economy. For example, the Creative industries are responsible for about 1.4 million UK jobs.’
In the last five years, the fashion industry in Nigeria has witnessed several fashion shows attended by designers from across the world. The Lagos Fashion and Design Week, in particular, has helped showcase Nigerian designers to the world. We believe that the fashion industry has the capacity to create several profitable companies and provide a variety of jobs to millions of Nigerians, reducing the high unemployment rates, particularly in youths.
The creative industry has also helped to put Nigeria in a positive light on the global map. Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry), for example, is the second largest film producing industry in the world (after Hollywood) and the third largest after Hollywood and Bollywood in terms of revenue. Its recognition has extended beyond our local boundaries as evident in the increasing number of partnerships and collaborations with international actors in our local films or local actors in international films. An example is the very successful “The Wedding Party” movie released in 2017.
However, like every other industry, the creative industry faces its own vicissitudes, some of which are:
- Insufficient specialized business support which ranges from finance to other equally important forms of support such as marketing, and management.
- Inadequate access to effective intellectual property rights.
- Inability to attract investors/adequate capital because most investors see the creative businesses as too risky investments (because they seem not to have gotten the right idea about the industry and its potential)
In Nigeria specifically, there is insufficient data to measure progress, making it difficult for investors to ascertain traction and get adequate information to make informed investment decisions. More often than not, ventures have to record a significant amount of success before people are willing to make any investment commitments.
Despite these challenges, the creative industries still show great potential for the economic growth of developing nations. According to an article released by UNESCO, developing countries between the year 2002 and 2011 experienced about 12.1% annual growth in exports of creative goods. The creative industry is not only one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, but indeed also a “highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings” (UNESCO, 2017).
Are you interested in investing or mentoring businesses in the creative industry? Rising Tide Africa is currently working with some creatives in this space. If you would like to be part of this, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can work together.
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