Nigeria’s creative industry is poised to hit a projected revenue of $100 billion by the year 2030, according to Ramnin Toloui, the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Economic and Business Affairs.
Toloui said this at the Africa Creative Market Conference in Lagos, adding the industry has the potential to generate up to 2.7 million jobs in the creative sector by 2050. The conference, focusing on Intellectual Property (IP) protection, was jointly organized by the U.S. Consulate in Lagos and Ascend Foundation Studios.
“The Nigerian creative sector has grown in leaps and bounds, with American actors now interested in featuring in Nigerian movies and part of this success was due to rising demand for Nigerian content from the global African diaspora,” Toloui said in his remarks.
This, Toloui said, has led to a steady rise in the export of African content through digital streaming and international touring, and growing numbers of African-based investors who are directing capital towards early-stage creator economy startups.
“The U.S. government supports and is proud to see burgeoning ties in the creative industries between the United States and Nigeria.
“Bringing both countries closer together and furthering investment opportunities in the film and television, music, arts, sports, gaming, and tech arenas.
“During the portion of the U.S.- Africa Summit that highlighted the economic potential of the creative industries, we announced our intention to partner with stakeholders across the creative ecosystem, creatives and policymakers alike, to help grow the creative economy.
“We have taken up this charge by focusing on a key piece of the puzzle that allows creatives to monetise their work and attract additional investment: intellectual property protection,” he said.
Toloui celebrated the tremendous growth of Nigeria’s creative sector, notably the increasing interest of American actors in participating in Nigerian films. He attributed this success to the surging demand for Nigerian content within the global African diaspora, leading to a consistent rise in the export of African content via digital streaming and international tours. Additionally, growing numbers of African-based investors are channelling capital into early-stage creator economy startups.
Toloui highlighted the collaborative efforts between the United States and Nigeria, strengthening ties within the creative industries, spanning film, television, music, arts, sports, gaming, and technology. The U.S. government is dedicated to fostering investment opportunities and partnerships, bridging the two nations.
During the U.S.-Africa Summit’s focus on the economic potential of the creative industries, the intent to collaborate with stakeholders across the creative ecosystem was announced. This partnership aims to facilitate the growth of the creative economy by addressing the crucial aspect of intellectual property protection.
As Toloui noted, strong IP rights regimes establish secure legal frameworks, facilitating investment and the commercialization of creativity and innovation.
Toloui pointed out the significance of the cultural sector, which contributes 3.1% to the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The creative industries generate annual revenues exceeding $2 trillion and support approximately 50 million jobs worldwide. Robust IP protection offers inventors, industrial designers, and creative artists the assurance that their ideas will be safeguarded and monetized.
Moreover, it paves the way for additional investments, attracting them to the creative industries, ultimately creating value and job opportunities beyond traditional boundaries. Toloui expressed enthusiasm for Nigeria’s commitment to the growth of the creative industries through the Destination 2030 Initiative.
The creative sector in Nigeria also plays a pivotal role in employment, particularly for young individuals aged 15 to 29, with women accounting for nearly half of the creative workforce. Notably, prominent U.S. film and entertainment companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount are making substantial investments in the Nigerian market, recognising the potential for future growth.
Toloui concluded by affirming the unwavering support of the United States for the thriving creative landscape in Nigeria, with a focus on encouraging investments and expanding commercial ties.