Netflix to expand its operations in Africa, building on its success

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By Rédaction Africanews with AFP

Netflix said Wednesday it plans to expand its operations in Africa, building on the success of shows and series like the South African series “Blood and Water.

The online video-streaming giant said it has invested the equivalent of €160 million in film content production in Africa since it began working on the continent in 2016. “The expansion of our operations here is a good thing for Netflix,” the company said in a report.

Its operations in Africa have focused on South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, creating more than 12,000 jobs, according to the company. “This is a start, we plan to reach more countries on the continent,” Shola Sanni, Netflix’s policy director for sub-Saharan Africa, said at a press conference in Johannesburg.

Currently, South Africa is the site’s top African contributor, with more than 170 films, series, and documentaries. In 2020, “Blood and Water,” a series centered on a Cape Town teenager who investigates her sister who was abducted at birth, had even placed first in the United States.

“We’ll build on these milestones to grow our business while continuing to invest in supporting local creative economies and giving more and more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage,” the company promises.

In recent years, Netflix has relied on diversifying its production outside the U.S., achieving big scores with series like Spain’s “La casa de papel” and the South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game,” a Golden Globe-winning global hit.

In 2021, the company has partnered with Unesco to fund six short films by young African directors. “It’s time for mainstream platforms to realize the richness and value of our stories,” one of those winners, South African filmmaker Gcobisa Yako, told AFP on Wednesday on the sidelines of the press conference.

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