Africans ‘must see benefit from streamers’

By Content Nigeria reporter
August 24, 2022


Those working in the African TV industry must be the ones to benefit most from US-based streamers’ activities on the continent, according to South African actor, producer and director Sisanda Henna.

Sisanda Henna

Speaking ahead of the inaugural MipAfrica, which kicks off in Cape Town today, Henna said there is a danger that companies not based in Africa might benefit the most from the boom in demand for storytelling from the continent.

“We see the global streamers are rolling out their strategies on the continent. They understand Africa is unique and they want to know how we do business and what people want to see on their screens,” said Henna, who pointed to the importance of “equitable growth” to ensure living standards for all families are raised.

“It’s a new era and it’s important that Africa fully benefits from a lot of this foreign investment. Employment is important and the way in which the companies grow is important. There are some staggering economic projections for streaming revenue in the region, so it’s important that the African child benefits from this.

“Whether you are swinging a boom, writing an episode, a reality star, the accountant or lawyer, or you build studios or operate the camera, every part of the value chain must benefit so there’s less disparity between whose pockets are getting fatter. That’s the African agenda.”

Taking place from today until Friday, MipAfrica is the latest industry event from MipTV and Mipcom owner RX and is a B2B market for those interested in film, television and digital content distribution and coproduction in sub-Saharan Africa.

The new event follows the addition of MipChina and MipCancun to the Mip markets portfolio in recent years. It headlines Fame Week Africa, the continent’s leading event for business development for the creative industries.

Henna, who is also chair of the advisory board for Fame Week Africa, added that “important conversations” need to be had at the event, ideally with the involvement of ministers for arts and trade from African countries that are experiencing a production boom, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

A diverse range of more than 300 companies from nearly 40 countries are set to attend to find the right production and financing partners in Africa and sell new IP and rights from their back catalogues in African countries.

Meanwhile, companies in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent are looking to match with the right international partners to develop content together, acquire global content for adaptation in Africa and buy international IP.

Fame Week Africa event director Judy Goddard said that, with the international TV community’s interest in working with storytellers from Africa at an all-time high, it couldn’t be a better moment for the event.