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Title: Nollywood as an Engine of Future Growth: An Examination of Nollywood’s Developmental Potential
Authors: Okeremi, Oluwatise
Advisors: Kohli, Atul
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2024
Abstract: Despite Nigeria’s promise and vast endowments, Nigeria’s developmental progress has been minimal. Nigeria’s state has struggled to lead the country’s economic transformation. Traditional developmental paths such as manufacturing-led development have been unsuccessful, and Nigeria has been unable to channel its wealth from oil towards sustained economic growth. Nigeria’s past struggles and failures suggest that it’s time to try something new. As such, the current puzzle being tackled is identifying where there is room for forward movement in Nigeria. Can Nigeria focus on the service sector instead of focusing solely on the manufacturing industry? Within this broader question, this thesis examines whether Nigeria’s film industry, a strong service subsector, can be an engine of future growth in Nigeria. In line with the political-economic framework where economic development is assisted, supported, and sometimes even led by the state, this thesis aims to show the Nigerian government that Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, is an industry worth supporting. Based on numerous in-person interviews with players in Nollywood’s ecosystem and an extensive analysis of the literature on Nollywood and film industries in general, this paper makes the following conclusions. Nollywood is a productive industry that is worth focusing on. Nigeria’s film industry has the potential to create job opportunities, pull other industries, incentivize the development of adjacent sectors such as infrastructure and manufacturing, contribute to social cohesion, influence Nigeria’s global image and exert soft power. These features position Nollywood as an engine of future growth in Nigeria. Nollywood’s immense potential positions it as a promising industry that the government should support. Even more so because Nollywood has a strong private sector. Thus far, one of Nigeria’s main developmental challenges has been its weak state capacity. Given Nollywood’s robust private sector, the government will not need to lead a new industry, which requires a lot of technical skills and uplifting. Instead, the state’s main role would be to support Nollywood’s private sector. As such, this thesis recommends state support for Nigeria’s film industry in order for the industry to grow and achieve its full potential as a driver of economic growth. In the current literature, Nollywood is largely absent in the conversations about Nigeria’s economic development. This thesis opens the doors for a more thorough exploration of Nollywood as an engine for future growth in Nigeria. Those interested in Nigeria’s economic development from scholars to policymakers should give serious attention to Nigeria’s film industry.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2024

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