London-based Zimbabwean Business Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, considered Zimbabwe’s first billionaire, was appointed Netflix’s new director last week. This is the first time that an African has joined the board of directors of the video-on-demand platform with 190 million subscribers.
The designation of the Zimbabwean billionaire should allow the platform to strengthen its position on the continent. Netflix on demand has indeed developed in recent years a communication strategy vis-à-vis new markets, particularly the African market, where the platform currently only has a few million users.
Indeed the choice of Strive Masiyiwa, founder of Econet, a globally successful telecommunications group, could a fortiori boost the American company to gain a foothold on the continent: the Zimbabwean Chairman will be better able to guide Netflix to understand the consumption patterns and issues specific to the continent where the majority of young people are very connected, especially in large urban areas.
Established in Africa since 2016, Netflix initially contented itself with acquiring local films to complete its catalog. But since this year, she has also embarked on the creation of original content, with the broadcast of the South African series Queen Sono, and Blood & Water, or the preparation of a future Nigerian series.
All in all, with the arrival of Strive Masiyiwa on the Netflix board, it will also ensure some diversity on the platform’s board. However, it should be noted that Strive Masiyiwa replaces Suzana Rice on the board, who until then was the only black personality to sit on it.