The Creator Economy and its significance in the current dispensation in Africa


The advent of the internet over the past few years has revolutionized who gets to participate in and benefit from creative work. In the past, traditional media platforms controlled who and what appeared before large audiences. But now almost anyone with creative inspiration and a mobile phone can create content that potentially reaches billions of people around the world – and make meaningful income doing so.

This growing trend has led to a surge in entrepreneurship and job creation, particularly in developing African countries where the youth population is high, and unemployment is a major challenge.

Even more, increasing numbers of young people are turning to entrepreneurship and creating jobs for themselves and others by leveraging the power of social media, e-commerce, and other digital platforms like Selar to create and distribute their content to a global audience contributing to the expansive impact on the economy at large. 

According to a report recently conducted by Selar, the largest creator platform in Africa, 47.7% of creators in Africa leverage new platforms and technologies that enable creators to monetize their content and reach a wider audience and 19.8% of digital creators monetize their following on social media, collaborating with brands to promote their products and services.

CEO/Founder Selar,  Douglas Kendyson mentioned that the economic contribution of the creator economy is unique because while most creators start alone, it’s never a one-person show for too long. Creators often grow their businesses and expand to a point where they cannot handle all the functions alone. As a result, they become employers of labour, hiring individuals with diverse skills to support and assist in various aspects of their business operations.

“It’s also very important that more creators be treated as businesses because creators today are a powerhouse for the multimillion-dollar businesses of tomorrow,” he added.

The creator economy has also contributed immensely to economic development. The creator economy contributes just over 6.1% to the global gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national GDPs worldwide. The content creation market is a global phenomenon, raising over $1 billion in 2021 and growing to be worth over $100 billion this year, according to the reports on CB Insights. It has provided an avenue for millions to earn a living over the Internet. With more Africans coming online every year and spending money online, it’s becoming increasingly feasible for African creators to leverage this attention and turn it into income.

Douglas commented on what the future holds for the creator economy: “I really believe anyone can be a creator in the future. We might not all be million-dollar-earning creators, but everyone has unique value they can offer to an audience or community. I definitely see a shift of more creators springing up; just like anyone can pick up a camera/camera phone and be a YouTuber, I see the same for other creators who want to sell digital products . More people realize they can cultivate an audience and offer value, no matter the size of the community.”

By David Akinfenwa 

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