Netflix, the global streaming giant, has recently announced its plans to expand its operations in Africa, following the success of its local content production ventures in the region.
According to a report, the streaming company has invested over €160 million ($175 million) in film content production in Africa since 2016, creating over 12,000 jobs in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Netflix’s move to expand its operations in Africa represents a significant investment in the continent’s creative economy, providing an opportunity to showcase African stories to a global audience. With an increasing demand for local content and rising competition from other streaming platforms, the move is expected to help Netflix establish itself as a dominant player in the African market.
Netflix has been investing significantly in producing and acquiring high-quality content for African audiences.
Among the critically acclaimed movies available on the platform that showcase the rich diversity of African cinema are “Lionheart”, “Rattlesnake”, and “How to Ruin Christmas”.
“Lionheart” tells the story of a young woman who takes over her father’s transportation company after he falls ill and the challenges she faces as a female in a male-dominated industry. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and became the platform’s first original film from Nigeria.
Another success story is “Blood and Water“, a South African series that achieved significant international acclaim in 2020, ranking first in the United States. The series follows a teenage girl who uncovers a family secret and a web of lies after transferring to a prestigious school.
South Africa is currently Netflix’s top African contributor, with over 170 films, series, and documentaries available on the site.
Netflix plans to build on these milestones by investing R900-million in four productions – three local and one international – all to be filmed in South Africa by 2023. The company also intends to reach more countries on the continent and support local creative economies by giving more and more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage.
As Netflix continues to expand its operations in Africa, it will undoubtedly face some challenges and opportunities along the way. However, one thing is certain: Netflix is here to stay and make an impact on the African film and television industry.
Read the full report here