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US projects $100bn revenue for Nigeria’s creative industries

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The United States has forecast a 100 billion dollar revenue from Nigeria’s creative industries by 2030.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Ramnin Toloui, who made this known during the Africa Creative Market Conference in Lagos on Monday, said if the potential of the industry was well harnessed, it could create up to 2.7 million jobs by 2050.

The conference on Intellectual Property (IP) protection was organised by the U.S. Consulate in Lagos in partnership with Ascend Foundation Studios.

Toloui’s remarks aimed to highlight the importance of IP protection and enforcement framework in fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative industries.

According to him, the Nigerian creative sector has grown in leaps and bounds, with American actors now interested in featuring in Nigerian movies.

Part of this success, he said, was due to rising demand for Nigerian content from the global African diaspora.

This, Toloui said, has led to a steady rise in the export of African content through digital streaming and international touring, and growing numbers of African-based investors who are directing capital towards early-stage creator economy startups.

“The U.S. government supports and is proud to see burgeoning ties in the creative industries between the United States and Nigeria.

“Bringing both countries closer together and furthering investment opportunities in the film and television, music, arts, sports, gaming, and tech arenas.

“During the portion of the U.S.- Africa Summit that highlighted the economic potential of the creative industries, we announced our intention to partner with stakeholders across the creative ecosystem, creatives and policymakers alike, to help grow the creative economy.

“We have taken up this charge by focusing on a key piece of the puzzle that allows creatives to monetise their work and attract additional investment: intellectual property protection”, he said.

Speaking on why the U.S., in its partnership with Nigeria, would highlight the creative industries, he said the cultural sector alone accounted for 3.1 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He added that according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the creative industries generated annual revenues of over 2 trillion dollars and accounted for nearly 50 million jobs worldwide.

He said strong IP rights regimes established secure legal frameworks for investment in – and commercialisation of – innovation and creativity.

This, he said, enabled firms, including innovative start-ups, to navigate the perilous process of transforming a creative work into a commercially viable product and to successfully compete in the global marketplace.

“A strong system of IP rights assures inventors, industrial designers, and creative artists that their ideas will be protected and that they can receive payment for the use of their creations.

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“Strong IP protection, therefore, creates value and jobs that extend well beyond the traditional boundaries of the creative sector. It attracts additional investment into the creative industries.

“This is why we are so delighted to see Nigeria continuing to invest in the growth of the creative industries with the newly announced Destination 2030 Initiative”, he said.

According to Toloui, the creative industries also employ more young people, namely those aged 15 to 29 than any other sector, with women constituting nearly half of the creative workforce.

He noted that several U.S. film and entertainment companies, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount were making large investments in the Nigerian market and seeing strong prospects for future investments.

“Nigeria is a powerhouse of creativity, and we stand in steadfast partnership with all of you in this room to support the conditions that allow creatives to thrive.

“I want to see many more investments and increased commercial ties. It serves us all to support a sector that is creating equitable opportunity for all”, he stated.

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