How can young Africans tap into Africa’s booming creative digital economy?

September 20, 2022 956 views 2 minutes reading time
How can young Africans tap into Africa’s booming creative digital economy?

Summary

    The creative digital economy is transforming the nature of work.

     

    We asked the experts: “How can young Africans combine talent and the distribution powers of the internet to make a sustainable living?”

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, South African musician Master KG’s Jerusalema became one of the most Shazamed songs in the world, garnering half a billion views on YouTube – a first for an African artist.

Fueled by the internet, and paths forged by superstar exports such as Wizkid, Black Coffee and Trevor Noah, African talent used the global lockdown to their advantage, churning out viral trends, music and content that captured the world’s imagination. The meteoric rise of TikTok comedian Elsa Majimbo is one such example. There’s a hunger for Africa’s creative output and experts say that now’s the time to take advantage of the combined powers of its creative and digital economies.

Africa’s creative digital economy – which includes advertising, architecture, design, film, photography, music, performing arts, publishing and more – provides “new opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy,” according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It’s rapid growth rate, powered by digital platforms that have provided unique access to global audiences, is not only enriching creatives but boosting development outcomes.

So how can young Africans tap into this booming sector? We reached out to two experts for a discussion on everything from licensing and NFTs to the essential role of data in the modern artist’s toolkit.

Watch our discussion with Nigerian digital rights lawyer, Sandra Oyewole, who works primarily in the media, sports, entertainment and technology sectors; and Victor Mark-Onyegbu, who oversees the arts and culture portfolio at Africa No Filter, an organization that invests in African storytellers; below: