Nigeria aims to increase its GDP to 15% by 2025 through its digital economy, to accelerate economic growth and development, as explained by Clem Ikanade Agbathe country’s Minister of State Budget and National Planning.
Nigeria’s large and fast-growing tech-savvy youth population raises the likelihood of significant GDP growth driven by the digital economy. While ICT and telecommunications are often seen as the most promising sectors of the digital economy to drive this expected economic growth, the growth opportunities extend beyond these sectors. A 2022 report from Policy circle showed that the creator economy contributes 6.1% to global GDP, accounting for between 2% and 7% of national GDP worldwide.
Less than a decade ago, it was considered unusual and irresponsible for a Nigerian to introduce himself as a YouTube creator or influencer; these labels did not fit the traditional framework of noble professions and promising careers. But the tides have turned as more Nigerian youth monetize their knowledge as digital products in ways previously considered unconventional. The creator economy has led to new ways of building wealth, potentially boosting economic development.
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The creator economy is a fast-growing industry that is well worth it $104 billion. Given Nigeria’s densely internet-savvy population, the country has the potential to control a substantial portion of this valuable and promising industry by leveraging its creator economy to accelerate economic growth and development. In a country with an employment rate of 33%, more people could become financially stronger and find work by capitalizing on their knowledge and creative skills.
The creator is at the heart of the creator economy, a diverse industry made up of filmmakers, content creators, writers, influencers, visual artists, and anyone who develops creative content. This emerging group of creatives is building a multimillion-dollar industry in Nigeria’s creator economy. In 2021, Selar, a Nigerian e-commerce platform aimed at content creators, paid more than $1 million to African creators, mostly Nigerians. Nigerian creators also earn a lot of money from YouTube and TikTok. Over the past three years, YouTube has paid more than $50 billion to creators on the platform.
This advancement gives Nigerian youth the opportunity to become economic builders by leveraging digitization from the comfort of their room. Douglas Kendyson, founder and CEO of Selar, stated that “the beauty of this system is that someone in Nigeria can create content, put it on the internet and it can be bought by consumers all over the world. This makes it easy for anyone to be part of the creator economy and connect to the global economy without changing their geographic location.” Platforms like Selar make this seamless.
The growth of the creator economy in Nigeria can have a significant economic impact. When creators produce content, they often need the expertise of other professionals to ensure its success, resulting in additional job opportunities. In addition, as the Nigerian creator economy ties into the global creator economy, there is a need to develop structures and infrastructure specifically designed to support this unique form of cross-border trade. This also creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to invest in and profit from this emerging industry.
Article by David Akinfenwa