‘African countries should diversify investment’

South Africa-based Nigerian George Beke has harped on the need to apply business-proven approaches to grow Africa’s creative industry.

The founder and CEO of Geobek Entertainment, a pan-African entertainment and music consulting company, revealed this in Gaborone, Botswana, at the weekend. It was  at a two-day conference hosted by Showbiz Entertainment Africa (SEA BW), an organisation which seeks to educate, empower and epitomise talent as a business.

Beke, who spoke at the conference which had in attendance Botswana’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, also advised African countries to consider diversifying their investment portfolios through their creative industries.

The film, TV productions and communications graduate from the University of Johannesburg also said there was room for growth in Botswana’s creative industry if everyone in the entertainment business was exposed to business-proven approaches, trends, market disruptions and other strategic challenges.

“The best way to make it out there, is to stick to the originality of your content do not try to copy anyone,” Beke said.

“One can also benchmark to people who are already in the industry and ask for help. Being able to look at yourself and the market objectively and understand how you fit into the market in order to be able to push yourself forward.”

According to him, Botswana’s entertainment and creative industry has potential to significantly contribute to the national economic growth, thus taking advantage of such industry developments was vital at this stage.

Beke also noted that constant training, mentorship, affiliation, policies and funding from relevant stakeholders were all necessary ingredients to boost Botswana’s promising industry, adding that such had been proven right in countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.

“Creative minds crave to showcase their ideas but they are challenged by insufficient resources to turn these ideas in to content for the already existing global market,” he said.

“One might argue that this is not only an issue to be addressed by government, but also an opportunity for Botswana’s business sector to consider in diversifying their investment portfolios.”

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