British actor and Hollywood sensation Idris Elba has shown interest in telling African stories from an African perspective.
According to the Tanzanian Director of Presidential communication, Zuhura Yunus, Idris Elba intends to invest in a major film studio in Tanzania.
The Director of Presidential communication disclosed this information to the media, during a briefing session on Monday on the outcome of President Hassan’s recent trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the 53rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
“Discussions on the project have just begun, and if successful, the project will help not only Tanzania but also Eastern and Central Africa,” she said.
Idris Elba is deeply rooted in Africa, having grown up in an African household, with a Sierre Leonean Father and a Ghanaian mother, despite being brought up in Hackney and East Ham.
In his acting career, he has taken on roles that aptly represent some of Africa’s deepest struggles in movies like Beast of no Nation and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. In 2021, Universal Pictures shot the movie, Beast, entirely in South Africa, in which Idris was the lead actor.
During one of his press events for the promotion of Beast, Idris Elba told the British national morning paper, The i newspaper that he wishes to continue telling African stories and would love to bridge the gap between the African movie market and the rest of the world.
He stated, “I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love, and thought.
Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa.”
He also went ahead to mention specific movie industries on the continent he believes are doing an exceptional job and reiterated his interest in helping these industries grow.
“I’m a fan of the Nigerian (film) industry. I’m a fan of the South African industry. Ghana has a very small industry. And I’m a fan of content creators in Africa, especially West Africa.
These kids that have these smartphones are making incredible content. And I feel like it’s overlooked. So I’m really a fan of trying to harness that and help that grow.”
During a fireside chat at the 2022 US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C, Idris Elba made mention of Africa’s vast market potential, noting that its status as the fastest developing market on the planet makes it rife for new waves of innovative ventures to be set up.
He stated, “in this country (America), you can’t make another Ford’s McDonald’s, Comcast, but in Africa, you can make it all.”
He also had some very powerful remarks at the US-Africa Leaders Summit’s; Africa Digital Innovation Competitors event, where he reiterated the vast economic potential of the African market.
He stated to an audience of investors; “If there are any investors listening or watching today if you do not consider Africa as a viable investment, you’re not considering yourself or your future. Africa’s future is your own future and vice versa.”
He also added, “We do not need aid anymore, we need innovation. We need partnership.”
This statement is very fitting when you consider that President Samia’s entire administrative ideology centers around building partnerships with foreign and local investors.
Since assuming office, the Tanzanian president has gone out of her way to broker deals with numerous private investors and governments.
Last year alone, she welcomed over a dozen US organizations to explore the economic opportunities hidden in Tanzania, to which she set up 500 Tanzanian businesses to meet with said US delegates. She signed a deal with numerous governments including the United Arab Nations, South Korea, China, and France among others.
She has also been working with some African countries including, Kenya, and Uganda, to ease trade access between their borders. She encouraged the exploration of Zanzaibar’s blue economy which 1000 foreign visitors were welcomed to explore.
And during the World Economic Forum, she focused on inviting investors to Africa to come explore the continent’s energy solutions, at a time when the world is experiencing an energy crisis.
Idris’s move to help develop the African film industry from the shores of Tanzania is very telling of President Samia’s leadership philosophy, and her open-door policy is sure to make this venture a very smooth and productive one.