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Netflix Sees Africa as Rich Source of Unique Stories

Netflix Sees Africa as Rich Source of Unique Stories

Online streaming giant Netflix says it is investing in Africa to help new talent emerge and to tell stories that make an impact locally but also resonate with audiences abroad.

Well-crafted local stories are “a major opportunity”, Netflix’s Africa and Middle East content vice president Ben Amadasun told AFP, on the sidelines of the Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa in the Botswanan capital Gaborone this week.

Increased investment in local content creation by international players is key for local industries to flourish, he said.

People in and from Africa “deserve to see themselves, their lives, their cultures, their languages and their countries reflected on screen”, he added.

If the production is loved locally, it has a better chance of global success, Amadasun said.

Netflix has bet on diversifying its production in recent years, with series such as Spanish hit “Money Heist” and the South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game”.

South Africa’s “Blood and Water” also enjoyed major global success as the first show from the country to reach number one in the United States.

The show’s star Ama Qamata was also present in Gaborone as one of those featured on the 2024 Africa Forbes 30 under 30 list of the continent’s most impactful young people.

South African thriller “Heart of the Hunter”, Nigeria’s “The Black Book” and “Young, Famous and African” are other African titles that have enjoyed major success.

Netflix announced last year that it planned to expand operations on the continent.

It will include “direct training and skills development on our productions as well as scholarship programmes and masterclasses that support the younger generation” in developing their projects, Amadasun said.

He added that Netflix had an “exciting” lineup of African content set to premiere in the coming months.


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