Creating local content

The digital transition offers a key moment to address the generation of local African content, both within particular countries and across the continent. It offers the opportunity to review the effectiveness of local production quotas and of Government schemes that support local production.

Although there are some notable exceptions, as much as 80-90% of content on African television stations comes from US, European and Latin American international content providers. These international content providers produce programmes for their own markets but offset the costs through selling global rights. However not surprisingly, locally generated programmes across the globe are nearly always more widely watched than international ones.

Nollywood has demonstrated that fiction programmes from one African country can be watched widely by people in other countries. Fiction output of this kind shapes how Africans see themselves. Several other African countries have also started to produce programmes that are more widely seen outside of where they were made.

Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa and many of them represent different cultures within countries. Whilst the growing number of African “vernacular” radio stations has begun to cater for some of this diversity, African television broadcasting has not always been capable of providing the same degree of language and cultural diversity.