The call was made by the Minister of Sports and Culture, Espérance Nyirasafari as she launched Kigali Audiovisual Forum, a three-day conference that has brought members of the cinema industry including film players and producers, investors and all other stakeholders in the audiovisual technology industry including media practitioners.
The forum that kicked off yesterday to end on November 23rd this year focuses on Africa’s ability to use technology in storytelling, the development, and professionalization of audio-visual structures and industries as well as the development of professional skills in production and distribution.
Minister Nyirasafari said that the audiovisual industry is fast growing and provides a lot of jobs mostly among the youth which makes the need for its enhanced professionalism urgent in the era when Rwanda aspires to become a knowledge-based economy.
“We not only want Rwanda to become a must-visit destination in Africa but also an audiovisual opportunity country,” she said.
Organized by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the first ever annual Kigali Audiovisual Forum was sponsored by Germany International Development Agency (GIZ) and the European among other partners.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda, Ambassador, Mr. Nicola Bellomo said : "We consider art and culture in the creative industry not only as a tool for dialogue but as a driver for social and economic development.”
“Culture has always been an important element in the partnership between the EU and Africa. We have 80 films that have been produced in the continent thanks to the support of the European Union,” Ambassador Bellomo added revealing that the audiovisual sector the third biggest employing industry in Europe.
The Germany Ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Peter Woeste said there is a huge market for the audiovisual industry worldwide and “it is difficult to imagine how big it is.”
He said in Europe are people with technical skills that can be used in Africa’s audiovisual long-term investments for the job creation as Africa’s modern audiovisual industry also has potential.
Ambassador Woeste said Rwanda is a small and landlocked but a beautiful nation which attracts investment opportunities in its audiovisual sector that will grow as time comes.
“We are not bringing Hollywood here because Africa has to build its own audiovisual industry. Creativity is only what is needed. Be realistic and don’t expect to become Hollywood in one day. Professionalism will be enhanced through experience,” Dr. Peter Woeste said as he advised Rwandan members of the audiovisual sector.