Culture Across Continents: Prosper Africa Mobilizes Investment in Africa’s Creative Industries

Culture shapes our lives, our daily experiences, and our economies. In an interconnected world, the creative industries wield enormous power – power to tell stories, power to unify, power to heal.

The United States recognizes the tremendous potential of the creative industries in driving growth and prosperity and creating lucrative opportunities between U.S. and African businesses. Prosper Africa, a U.S. initiative to increase two-way trade between African countries and the United States, amplifies these opportunities and commissioned a study to examine the business and investment potential of Africa’s creative industry.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky led a trade mission to West Africa, October 28-31, 2019 to help United States exporters unlock new opportunities in a region where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture Photo: U.S. Embassy, Ghana

In recent months, U.S. video streaming services have signed deals with African studios to produce films that will bring African content to global audiences. African designers opened Paris Fashion Week. African recording artist Burna Boy sold out Madison Square Garden. The power of this cultural work cannot be understated, and neither can the millions of jobs it supports, from Hollywood to Nollywood.

Origin Africa Trade Fair at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Catwalk fashion show.
Photo by USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub

Africa’s creative economy currently represents a fast-growing portion of the global creative economy. The study highlighted that the industry presents an outsized opportunity for investors to deliver strong returns and sustainable impact through job creation and youth employment. With increased investment, Africa’s creative sector is poised to create more than three million jobs over the next six years. Women, in particular, are drivers of Africa’s creative value chains; this growth in jobs helps to advance women’s empowerment and raise household incomes.

The study also found that fast-rising digital adoption and demand for local content across Africa’s young population has accelerated creative economy growth. Mobile phone connections have jumped by some 30 percent. Today, the continent is the world’s second largest mobile market behind Asia. This growth has helped to facilitate the rise of mobile money, which, in turn, is providing greater access to on-demand music and video streaming. The demand for African content from local and Diaspora audiences has also substantially increased. For example, the steady growth in West African Cinema Box Office earnings has largely been driven by local releases that constitute a growing portion of their earnings and titles.

The entrance of U.S. creative companies, and the rise of African investors, are fueling growth across Africa’s creative industries. U.S. streaming giants Netflix and Amazon have entered the African market with an appetite for local content, bringing their platforms and services while also penning licensing deals with local production companies to increase African content for global distribution. At the same time, a new generation of African investors is investing back into Africa’s creative sector, with promising future growth expectations.

There are tremendous opportunities for trade and investment between the United States and Africa’s fast-growing economies—and the U.S. Government is committed to helping businesses and investors unlock these opportunities.

Prosper Africa is a one-stop shop that harnesses the full suite of U.S. Government services and resources to help companies and investors do business in the United States and across the African continent.

Together with the private sector and African governments, we are opening up untapped markets for American and African products, driving billions of dollars of investment in Africa, and creating thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

What We Offer:

  • Market insights so businesses and investors across African countries and the United States can learn about the market opportunities available today and emerging in the future
  • A wide range of deal support services to help businesses and investors across the United States and the African continent identify partners, advance opportunities, and close deals
  • Support in securing financing and resources from 17 U.S. Government agencies to help businesses and investors to scale
  • Solutions to strengthen business climates, in partnership with African governments

Find your next opportunity today at

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FAME Week Africa

FAME Week Africa

FWA Connect bringing the Film, Arts, Media and Entertainment sector together by providing creative industry professionals on the African continent with news, trends and in-depth articles.

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