Graphic Arts

Beyond the graphic design necessary for the development of a video game or an animated film, the graphic arts make it possible to invest in other cultural fields, such as comics or even manga.

As for the other aspects of the African creative industry highlighted by the African Creative Meeting, the graphic arts are experiencing real development on the African continent but are struggling to find an audience beyond its borders.

Not because the productions are not interesting or display a poor style – on the contrary, the works that reach Europe are appreciated and bring a breath of fresh air to the classics of the genre – but because the sales outlets are relatively rare in Africa which hinders the development of this sector, and the foreign publishing houses on the territory.


Digital technology can partly compensate for this lack, by making works available directly on mobile phones. But, as elsewhere in the world, digital technology does not always make works officially accessible…

Nevertheless, graphic productions from the African continent are gaining in notoriety. In 2020, for example, the 5th edition of the Congolese comic strip festival, the
Bilili BD festival, was held in Brazzaville, which now enjoys an international reputation, with African as well as European and North American stakeholders.

Manga is also taking an increasingly prominent place in African literary production and reading, following the wave of Asian manga and anime of the late 1990s. This popularity of the genre has led manga to supplant the classic “Franco-Belgian” comic strip and opened the way to hybrid formats, mixing traditional manga codes with African traditions.

African comics and manga also serve to share the continent’s stories, mythologies, and legends with the African readership, and also to promote the African culture worldwide, through original scenarios and their own genre.