Botswana’s film and television industry has experienced some growth in recent years resulting in more locally produced content being showcased on various platforms. As the country is on the path to diversify the economy from the diamond sector, one may wonder just how much is being done to aid the local film industry to benefit from this globally thriving space.
Investing in a $80 billion industry provides an opportunity for an economy like Botswana to have a share of the proverbial cake. Although it might not be a full slice, significant sized crumbs are a good start. Global trends including the increase in consumer income and technology development have contributed immensely to the continued film and television growth. Similarly to other industries, globalisation and technology advancements allow for Botswana’s filmmakers to target consumers beyond the country’s small population of approximately 2 million.
Botswana’s entertainment and creative industry has potential to significantly contribute to the national economic growth, so, taking advantage of these industry developments is vital at this stage. Training, mentorship, affiliation, policies and funding from relevant stakeholders are all necessary at this stage to boost this promising industry.
Digital migration presents an even greater opportunity for Batswana to share content and stories with an even broader audience. Over the years countries across the globe have been sharing film and television content, leading to a more comprehensive and connected global village. The internet and continental platforms such as DSTV have allowed Africans to share each other’s stories. This further challenges content producers’ creativity and versatility to appeal to a global market with local content.
Botswana has a lot to offer and share with the world including the evolving culture, success and intriguing stories, trade opportunities and the state of the country’s general developments. The likes of Norman Moloi, Thabiso Maretlwaneng, Billy Kokorwe, Kesebonye Seabelo, and others, continue to take that frightful leap to have their works broadcasted beyond the borders. Their efforts have given a sense of hope to others. Botswana’s film and television graduates aspire to explore the international market but are often met with challenges including the lack of resources to produce according to internationally accepted standards.
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. 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.