Monday, July 29, 2013
India's Bollywood Success To Boost Kannywood for Film City in Kano
Nigerian Movies Will Boost Africa's Projected 5.2 Percent GDP Growth in 2013
Euromonitor International and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of the World Travel Market, in a report last November said that Africa's projected 5.2 percent GDP growth in 2013 would be due in part to the popularity of Nigerian films, which it said would also attract domestic and regional tourism.
Indian Investment in Nigerian Film to Aid Development
~ By Julie Fuller
The Kano State in Nigeria is to get a new “film city” as part of an ongoing development project with India. Like India, Nigeria has enjoyed a booming film industry, and it is hoped that developing this sector will help to bring vital income to the country. It is anticipated that the creation of the film city will bring thousands of jobs to the Nigerian population. It is also hoped that by capitalizing on the country’s popular ‘Nollywood’ industry, this will create another strong foreign export to run alongside the country’s already lucrative oil and gas industry.
In order to achieve this ambitious aim, Nigeria is looking to India. The Asian country has for decades enjoyed the global success of Bollywood, the industry having created many internationally renowned film stars, and having generated a huge amount of revenue for the country. One organization that is aware of Bollywood’s success is the EXIM Bank of India, which has financed the industry for many years. The EXIM Bank of India has been working with its Nigerian counterpart, the NEXIM, to develop a similar strategy for Nollywood and to provide ongoing advice and support.
Film is big business in Nigeria; there are now between 1,000 and 1,200 movies made every year through Nollywood. The industry began in 1992, with a release called ‘Living in Bondage’, which sold more than half a million copies. At the time, movies were made on VHS format, but now the industry has modernized to digital. Nollywood now actually produces more movies than Hollywood, and is second only to Bollywood in terms of quantity. As the industry matures, it is now looking to acquire new international markets.
Nigeria’s connection with India’s film industry dates back more than 50 years, when distributors from Lebanon started importing Indian films to Nigeria back in the 1950s. Since then, many Nigerians have grown up watching Bollywood films, hence the creation of Nollywood several decades later, which takes many influences from its Asian counterpart.
Helping Nigerian youth through film
The partnership between the two countries is aiming to improve development in Nigeria in areas such as health, education and employment. Africa, which has the fastest growing and youngest population in the world, is under increasing pressure from international governments to improve its prospects for citizens. The film industry is being highlighted as one of the Nigeria's booming sectors, and one that has the potential to bring vital funds to the country that will aid its development. Not only will the project create a large number of jobs, but the income generated by the film city will go towards the creation of new state of the art health centers and live-in treatment clinics for those getting over addiction and other health-related conditions. Nigeria has recorded a steep rise in the number of young people battling some form of drug addiction in recent years; earlier this year it was reported that drastic action needed to be taken to help vulnerable people rehabilitate back into society before their conditions lead to anti-social behaviour. Projects such as the film city, and partnerships with countries like India, will help to bring vital funds to tackle these problems, as well as giving Nigeria’s youth better prospects for both employment and entertainment.
International investment in entertainment
In addition to Nigeria’s project with India, the World Bank has also recognized an international potential and appeal in Nigeria’s film industry. It is therefore helping the Nigerian government in creating the ‘Growth and Employment in States’ project. This project will provide finance and support to the country’s entertainment industry and – according to the World Bank – this could create up to one million jobs in the country’s film industry if managed properly.
Roberts Orya, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) said: “The Nigerian film industry has stunned the global movie world through its innovation, imaginativeness and prolific performance.” Orya’s sentiments are backed up by figures; the industry has brought in revenues of between $300 million and £800 million in the past few years alone. Although its income is not yet on the same level as that of Hollywood or Bollywood, the international film industry recognizes that it could well have the potential to match these global heavyweights in future years.