The Creative Economy
Africa is the second-largest and second-most populous continent, with a population of 1.2 billion people. The creative economy is an essential part of any country’s economy and creativity can be found in many forms such as arts and crafts, performing arts, design and architecture, literature, music and movies.
From the time of their emergence, blockchain-based virtual assets and decentralized apps have maintained an aura of exclusivity. Much of this has come from the fact that most initial token offerings are closed to non-accredited investors or those who fall outside certain income thresholds. However, the trend is gradually shifting in a more favorable direction for those with creative skills. That’s because social media influencers and artists are now being recognized as key drivers of adoption in new markets. With Africa experiencing tremendous growth in terms of mobile internet users and penetration rates, it comes as no surprise that many NFT artists are turning their attention to this untapped market. After all, there is no better way to stand out than by capitalizing on a niche not yet explored by other developers.
It is no secret that Africa’s creative economy is booming. However, the majority of African artists and creatives are at risks of being displaced by technology – and not just in Africa. As we continue to move towards a future where art will be available through cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, there is a need for different forms of support for this new type of creator.
What’s holding back the growth of the NFT industry in Africa?
While blockchain-based virtual assets can be acquired anywhere in the world, the collectibles market is still largely dominated by North American and European buyers. This is due to a variety of factors such as local regulatory conditions, payment methods, and language barriers. Because Africa’s creative economy is relatively nascent, a lack of awareness about NFTs is also limiting growth in the region. This is further compounded by the fact that vast portions of the continent are underbanked or unbanked altogether. These issues are compounded by Africa’s low internet penetration rates and limited bandwidth capacity. Even in countries where the average income is comparatively high, such as South Africa and Kenya, internet connectivity is often unreliable. For example, the average South African broadband speed is just under 10 Mbps, roughly half the global average.
What is an NFT artist?
A new media artist, who creates digital artworks that are delivered through the internet. The business of NFT artists is booming in Africa – with the number of people earning their living through this profession growing at a rate of 40% per year.
The Art of Technology
With the advent of technology, more and more people are getting engaged in the creative industries. One of the fields that is gaining popularity is NFT artistry, which has been the profession of more than a few artists of late. This medium involves using software and digital hardware to create both traditional and innovative artworks, and it’s catching up quickly.
How can NFTs help unlock Africa’s creative economy?
The fact that NFTs are decentralized and borderless means that they are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This makes them particularly beneficial to emerging markets such as Africa, where the creative economy is already making great strides. However, if NFTs are to reach their full potential in Africa, there are a few things that developers, artists, and NFT owners must do. While the blockchain hype surrounding NFTs is as real as it gets, it’s important to remember that it is just hype. NFTs can’t be expected to fix all the problems facing the Africa’s creative economy. Instead, blockchain-based virtual assets will be most effective when used to address specific pain points such as the lack of liquidity, high transaction costs, and fraud.
Why artists should start building their portfolio with NFTs
While it’s easy to see how NFTs can benefit the Africa’s creative economy, it’s less clear how they can help artists. After all, many creatives already rely heavily on social media influencers (SMEs) to sell their work. While this can be a lucrative way of earning an income, it comes with its own set of challenges. Artists who rely heavily on SMEs often have to accept payment in the form of virtual goods or gift cards. This makes it difficult to liquidate one’s assets or convert them into cash. Additionally, the terms and conditions of most social media platforms make it difficult for artists to earn a sustainable living. As a result, many artists who rely heavily on SME for monetization find themselves at risk of losing their work and/or account.