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Achieving Africa integration via entertainment industry

 African societies are essentially multi-ethnic and multicultural. Africa is the second most populous continent which is home to 1billion people, about 15% of the world’s…

 African societies are essentially multi-ethnic and multicultural. Africa is the second most populous continent which is home to 1billion people, about 15% of the world’s population. With 54 countries, the continent is divided into Northern Africa with its Arab cultures and part of the MENA region (Middle East- North Africa), and Sub-Saharan Africa. Each country has a unique culture. Most sub-Saharan countries show strong ties to traditional African culture. Other countries, like Angola, where the colonial influence of the Portuguese lasted longer than in British or French colonies, the culture shows a very strong European as well as Brazilian influence due to its Portuguese language.

Multiculturalism in Africa is premised on challenges to cultural supremacy occasioned by the large-scale migration of people of different backgrounds, who experienced alienation, marginalization, and exclusion in the host country. Despite the fact in diversity, they experience in everyday life communal mutuality in village festivals, traditional dancing tunes and steps, religious worships and socio-cultural cooperation in works among others.

 Meanwhile, tribal traditions in Africa to some large extent influence the design of socio-cultural entertainment with identical experiences except in the language of communication.

During the struggle for independence, African theatre and cultural forms became elements of resistance. Songs, dances, and ritual dramas mobilized people to understand and reject colonialism.

Throughout history, popular theatre forms such as dances, dramas, musical compositions, narratives, and others have played roles in the cultural struggles of the African peoples and their development.

 Today, however, in line with the integration agenda of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nollywood films have taken the front burner by upholding African cultural practices and promoting such among people living in various countries in the sub – region and in addition re-infusing the African practices and cultures into the original inhabitants of the various countries even outside the continent. 

 As noted above, Nigeria remains one of the world’s fastest-growing entertainment and media (E&M) markets with overall growth of 15.7 per cent in 2016, reaching $3.8 billion. Nigeria’s music industry alone is expected to grow at a breathtaking 12.9 per cent CAGR-almost doubling from $47 million in 2015 to over $86 million in 2020-on the back of strong mobile music revenue.

Similarly, Kenya will enjoy strong growth in the next few years because of its strong mobile music sector. Kenya’s total music industry revenue is projected to rise from $19 million to $29 million in 2020.

 The African Development Bank can use the medium provided by the entertainment industry in Africa to solve the problem of ethnic clashes, slavery, human trafficking, and act of terrorism by commissioning the African movie and musical producers to produce films and music that will promote unity in diversity among the people of Africa.

 The major players in entertainment industry in Africa can be enlightened on the important roles their works play in the unity and development of the continent because in the time past, entertainment helped to rescue, incorporate, preserve, and mediate not only the people’s aspirations, but also those factors which define their beliefs, expressions, and historical cultural development in general.

Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman wrote from Wuye, Abuja and can be reached at:[email protected] 

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