The rise and rise of the $5B industry called Nollywood

British-Nigerian actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of 'Half of a Yellow Sun', the Nigerian film industry’s biggest production to date

Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry is booming, but lack of funding and rampant piracy holds it back. A stronger effort to improve quality, enforce intellectual property laws and clampdown on piracy should help to generate substantial revenues that really whet the appetite of investors.

In April 2014, Nigeria rebased its GDP and became Africa’s largest economy. For the first time, industries such as telecoms, the internet, and airlines were included when calculating GDP, swelling the total value of the economy in 2013 to $510 billion, well above South Africa’s total output of $370 billion.

Besides ICT and airlines, another significant driver of the modern Nigerian economy, the local film industry, has also been taken into account. Valued at more than $5 billion, Nollywood now contributes around 1.4% to Nigeria’s GDP and employs more than a million people, making it the country’s largest employer after agriculture. In terms of movies produced, Nigeria’s film industry is the second largest in the world after Bollywood—even trumping Hollywood—with more than 2,000 movies released in 2013.

Read more: The rise and rise of Nollywood.