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Africa No Filter gives insights from latest report

According to the report, Africa’s youth love local films and admire creatives, but they don’t read books by African authors for pleasure or spend on creative products.

Film is the most appreciated creative platform. However, despite young people liking film, they consume the same amount of local film (57%) as they do international films (53%).

Those who had watched more than eight films had watched slightly more international films (13%) than African ones. Worryingly, many African youths are not reading for pleasure, and 71% had not read any books by African authors; only 1% had read two books.

The findings cover the creative sector including:

  • whether respondents thought governments were doing enough to support the cultural and creative industries
  • their perceptions about success and creativity, and
  • their behaviour as an audience for the industry.

The report showed that while 85% of respondents believed that arts and culture were essential to society, only a few supported the sector; 78% spent nothing or “very little” on arts and cultural pastimes.

Additionally, only 13% of the interviewees believed the creative sector was lucrative despite the continent’s leading musicians, visual artists, comedians, authors, filmmakers, fashion designers and performers making their mark in the world.

The creative and cultural industries (CCI) across Africa generate about USD$4.2-billion in revenue and have a growth rate that outpaces other sectors on the continent.

In 2021, UNESCO published probably the most comprehensive mapping of the continent’s film and audio-visual industries. The report showed that the sector is underfunded and underdeveloped.

It estimates the sector currently employs only five million people and accounts for only USD$5-billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the continent.

Moky Makura, executive director at Africa No Filter, says, “There have been a number of reports about the creative and cultural industries in Africa showing the untapped potential of this sector. But there has been little research on attitudes to it and creativity in general — especially among Africa’s youth.”

“We commissioned the report because we wanted to understand how the creative sector resonates locally. Africa is increasingly known for its creative talent — it has low barriers to entry and is one of the continent’s biggest exports to the world,” adds Makura.

Makura says, “The report shows that we can do more to support creatives locally and ensure African audiences are more aware of and consume more creative and cultural products and services. The creative outputs are there but this report is shining a light on the consumers of those outputs and the role they have to play in ensuring a sustainable creative sector in Africa.”

The report also highlighted the following:

Creatives are influential and admired
An average of 82% of all respondents respected and admired creatives in their country.

Kenyan (97%) and Nigerian (97%) respondents were most likely to consider arts and culture important, closely followed by respondents from Ivory Coast and Uganda (96%).

Not possible to make a good living in the creative sector
Only 4% of respondents worked in the creative industry. Those employed in the creative sector were most likely to be visual artists (30%) or content creators (23%).

South Africans (22%) and Kenyans (19%) thought social media influencers earn more than creatives.

Business and entrepreneurship are still seen as the top way to make money
This is because 48% believed a traditional career in sports was more lucrative than a career in the creative industry. 23% of the respondents felt they would make more money from football or basketball compared to 13% who opted for music and film.

Additionally, 45% of respondents in the Ivory Coast believed sport was more lucrative. The most positive youth were in Uganda, where 50% of respondents thought there were opportunities in the creative sector.

Low chances of success
Interestingly, 39% of respondents believed there were too many barriers to success, and 21% said there was no money to be made.

African writers are not writing for African audiences
Hardly any respondents had read a book the month before the interview: 32% of East Africans were most likely to have read one or more international authors, while 34% of West Africans were most likely to have read books by an African author.

Furthermore, 94% of Egyptian respondents had read neither an African nor an international author.

Government and society’s support
The study showed that 72% of the respondents in surveyed countries felt their respective governments and society encouraged creativity.

Kenyan (87%) and South African (81%) respondents felt the most encouraged, while only 56% of Nigerian and 61% of Moroccan respondents felt creativity was encouraged.

The research was done in:

  • Egypt
  • Morocco
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • South Africa, and
  • Zimbabwe.

For more information, visit You can also follow Africa No Filter on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.

Africa No Filter report AMA Africa’s Soft Power: Can Africa’s creativity transform the continent? AMA Media marketing African youth African media African statistics in media



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