Countries that command cultural influence are often synonymous with fine food, fashion and easy living. They are trendsetters, the cool countries. Their products always trend. Their music, television and movies are absorbed by other cultures, becoming part of a wider global conversation.
The 2019 Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a survey that asked more than 20,000 people from four regions to associate 80 countries with specific characteristics.
The Cultural Influence subranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from seven country attributes that relate to a country’s cultural influence: culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious and trendy. The Cultural Influence subranking score had a 13 percent weight in the overall Best Countries ranking.
When it comes to cultural influence, Africa continues to strive, with Egypt been the clear leader. South Africa on the other hand was ranked the second most Culturally Influential Country in Africa, their music, movies, easy living and traditions. Morocco, Tanzania and Nigeria. round out the top five most Culturally Influential Countries in Africa.
While Nigeria may not always be associated with sophisticated living, or huge wages, its $5 billion media and entertainment industry is the largest in Africa, Nigeria’s Nollywood produces more films than Hollywood, Nollywood is today the second-largest movie industry in the world by volume after Bollywood and contributes 5% to Nigeria’s GDP.
Through Entertainment, Nigerians have been able to influence viewers worldwide and export the “Nigerianness”: their culture, their lifestyle and even their accent.
Nigeria’s music industry, too, has become an exceptional global phenomenon: in London, capital of the second-largest music market in the world, the rise of what many call UK afrobeats or Afro Bashment, a mix of hip hop and African sounds largely Nigerian-inspired, has revolutionized the music industry across the country.
Major British artists of Nigerian or West African roots, some more established like Skepta, others more recently-emerging like J-Hus and Not3s, have helped further expose the Nigerian sound to the world.
That said, here are the Top Eight Most Culturally Influential Countries in Africa
Top Eight Most Culturally Influential Countries in Africa, 2019