Streaming giant Netflix said on Wednesday it plans to expand its operations in Africa following the success of South African drama series such as Blood and Water.
Since 2016, Netflix has spent almost $175 million (about R3 billion) on productions in Africa.
“About our business [in Afrika] expanding is good for Netflix,” the company said in a report. The report provided further details on the scope of the plans in Africa and said a total of $63 million has been earmarked specifically for South Africa in 2022 and 2023.
Netflix’s operations in sub-Saharan Africa have so far mainly focused on South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and, according to the company, have created around 12,000 jobs.
“This is just the beginning. We plan to reach out to more countries across the continent,” said Shola Sanni, Netflix’s policy director for sub-Saharan Africa.
South Africa is the continent’s biggest contributor to the platform, adding more than 170 movies, series and documentaries.
Blood and Water made international headlines in 2020 and became the first South African program to reach the no. 1 position in the US.
“We plan to build on these milestones to expand our business. We want to give more storytellers from Africa a voice on an international stage,” said Netflix.
In recent years, Netflix has focused on diversifying with hit series such as the Spanish Money Heist and the South Korean dystopian drama, Squid Game.
In 2021, the company also joined hands with the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, to fund six short films by young directors from Africa.
“It’s honestly time for worthy platforms to see the richness and value in our stories,” Gcobisa Yako, one of these six young filmmakers, told AFP.
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