Creativity is the new money | Addis Standard
African personalities are breaking stereotypical and geographical boundaries to make their mark. From Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan Oscar winner; to 17 year old Congolese Rachel Mwanza, once a street child, today the first African recipient of the Berlin Film Festival Best Actress award; to multi-platinum award winning South African singer Lira; or a range of African young literary champions like Ondjaki, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or NoViolet Bulawayo.
African contemporary artists are also generating a stir. Just last year, London’s Tate Modern Gallery displayed the works of Benin’s Meschac Gaba and Sudan’s Ibrahim el-Salahi; for the first time the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for best national pavilion went to an African country, Angola.
These examples only scratch the surface of the enormity and variety of the creative talent that Africa has to offer. Africa’s informal sector breeds tens of thousands of individuals and communities making a daily living from creativity. The contribution of this sector remains unknown for lack of reliable data; but it is significant.
All this talent is a key ingredient of the creative economy, a term that encompasses visual arts, crafts, cultural festivals, paintings, sculptures, photography, publishing, music, dance, film, radio, fashion, and video games to architecture. It is not just about providing entertainment. It also captures self-expression, innovation, and education to improve lives and build social cohesion. It is serious business, one of the most rapidly growing sectors globally.
In 2012, the entertainment and media industry alone injected around $2.2 trillion in the world economy, while world’s trade in creative goods and services, generated US$624 billion in revenues. In the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia, creative industries account for about 5-8% of total income and employment , or 2 to 4% of the GDP in countries such as Argentina, China, Colombia, Malaysia, Poland, Romania Singapore and South Africa.
Nigeria’s recent national accounts rebasing show that motion pictures, sound recording and music production alone, account for 1.42% of its GDP.
Reaping the benefits (read the complete article on Africa’s creative economic potential)