The African union and Africa member states convene in Nairobi to discuss the growth of the African Film industry

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 PRESS RELEASE                  

The African union and Africa member states convene in Nairobi to discuss the growth of the African Film industry 

Nairobi, 13 July 2015– Delegates drawn from African Union (AU) member states, Pan African film organizations, National Film Commissions and the African Union Commission are convening in Nairobi today for a two day workshop to review and validate the report on the status of the African film Industry.

The report is a collation of reports by African countries on request from the African Union Commission (AUC) and The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers ( FEPACI). The purpose of the report is to inform measures that can, and should be taken, to urgently strengthen the film sector in the continent.

This report   provides a snapshot view of the structure and socio-economic contribution of Africa Cinema and Audio -visual sector drawing from secondary sources.

Speaking while officially opening the workshop, Cabinet Secretary of Sports, Culture and Arts Dr Hassan Wario said: “I am delighted to note that there is a growing recognition of the critical role that the film industry and the creative economy in general can play in the social, political and economic development of our continent”.  Noting that   the validation of the report would herald the establishment of the Africa Audio Visual and Cinema Commission (AACC) and Fund as per the Maputo Declaration of July 2003 he stated that “I want to urge you to put your minds and might together the next two days because the AACC will contribute immensely to the attainment of critical institutions in the growth of the African Film Industry…. Institutions the industry has been yearning for such as The inter-African Centre for Production; The inter-African Distribution Consortium;   The inter-African Film Production.

Dr. Wario added that, over and above the economic, social and cultural benefits, the film industry also helps shape our concepts of self-worth. Our stories have long been told by others. We now take charge to tell the stories of our lives from our African perspectives – African images and stories, showcased and told by Africans. Our forefathers achieved physical liberation. Our generation shall achieve mental and spiritual liberation. To tell our stories requires certain structures, skills and market processes. It is these structures, skills and market processes – training, production, post-production and distribution – that the AACC and AFF will promote, catalyze and establish.

The key agenda of the workshop is to make progress   towards the establishment of the Africa Audio Visual and Cinema Commission (AACC) and Fund as per the Maputo Decision of July 2003. The Commission and the Fund are expected to help the continent step up the production and distribution of quality films and television programmes.  Kenya has presented a formal proposal to host the Commission in Nairobi. In his speech, Dr. Wario further noted that Kenya was committed to driving forward the film sector and has committed Kes.84, 000,000.00 towards FEPACI which is being hosted by the Government of Kenya for four years.

“Africa needs to take ownership of its strategies, its dreams and its goals which is why we at the African Union are at the forefront of encouraging the adoption of innovative and sustainable actions and processes that will enable our filmmakers to produce the most sought out for cinema and audio productions,” said Africa Union’s Head of Culture Division Angela Martins.

The sector currently supports 5 million jobs on the continent with 1 million of them being in Nigeria. This number can increase to 20 million jobs within the next ten years.

To tell our stories requires certain structures, skills and market processes. It is these structures, skills and market processes – training, production, post-production and distribution – that the AACC and AFF will promote, catalyze and establish.

A UNESCO/UNDP report published in 2013 acknowledges creative economy as the only one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy; it is also a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.

According to UNCTAD trade in creative services has been growing rapidly with exports of these services having tripled from a value of $62billion in 2002 to a total of $172 billion in 2011.

Weighing in on the issue, FEPACI Secretary Cheick General Mr. Oumar Sissoko added, “We must capitalize on the demographics of our continent of one billion people, majority of who are youth full of raw talent and diverse cultures to spur Africa’s creative economy.”

ENDS

High resolution photos are available on request.

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