Nollywood, Nigeria’s homegrown film sector, has been identified as being among industries which boosted the West African country’s GDP to $510 billion, making it Africa’s largest economy.

Nollywood, which now accounts for about 1,3 percent of the new calculated GDP figures for Nigeria, has been growing gradually in the past two decades.

Jason Njoku, the CEO of iROKOtv, the VC-backed Video-On-Demand (VOD) platform for Nollywood movies, said Nollywood can now be mentioned in the same breath as Hollywood and Bollywood, producing about 1,500 and 2000 films each year.

“Nollywood is the most hard-working, brutal and dynamic of industries that Nigeria has spawned. It is an economic miracle that the industry has not only flourished, but grown exponentially, considering the conservative budgets movie producers have to work with, as well as the antiquated methods of distribution that held the industry back for so many years,” Njoku said in a statement.

iROKOtv, often described as the ‘Netflix of Africa’, was started by Njoku, the London-born Manchester University graduate after he identified an opening in the market for Nollywood distribution in 2009.

On Sunday, Nigeria rebased its GDP, changing the manner in which it is calculated. The country’s newly-calculated GDP stood at $510 billion, making it 32.8 percent larger than South Africa’s GDP of $384 billion.

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