African Union (AU) member states have endorsed the Draft Statute of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) which is aimed at propelling the African cinema industry.
A press statement from the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers said ministers from AU member states also approved establishment of the AACC Temporary Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya.
However, Film Association of Malawi (Fama) President, Ezaius Mkandawire, while welcoming the move, said they are yet to see tangible results.
“I remember a survey was done and I responded to this questionnaire but Western African countries are the ones which are benefiting more. As for other Southern African countries such as Malawi, we are yet to see the results,” Mkandawire said.
He said several beautiful documents have been made but nothing fruitful has happened on the ground.
“We are yet to see [change]; otherwise we have talent but we don’t have that platform to access funds. There is need for investment if we are to talk about vibrant cinema industries,” Mkandawire said.
The statement says AACC will be responsible for the promotion of the African audiovisual and cinema industry.
Ministers of Youth, Culture and Sports of AU member states meeting in Nairobi endorsed the Draft Statute of the AACC at the Extraordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport (STC-YCS2).
The AACC was established in June 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a specialised agency of the AU.
The establishment and the endorsement of the statutes is the result of concerted efforts led by the government of Kenya, Pan African Federation of Filmmakers currently hosted by the Government of Kenya, African Union Commission (AUC) and leading film producing countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Establishment of AACC was first called for by the AU Executive Council in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2003.
AACC will be responsible for the promotion of the rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry and shall encourage creation of appropriate structures at the national, regional and continental levels.
It will also strengthen cooperation between African States in the area of audiovisual and cinema; and promote the use of audiovisual and cinematic expressions as factors of job creation, integration, solidarity and respect of values.
According to the statement, the audiovisual and cinema industry accounts for $5 billion in continental Gross Domestic Product, employing an estimated 5 million people.
With the current push for its development, this industry is expected to grow to over 20 million jobs and $20 billion in annual GDP contribution.
The AACC is part of a four programme ecosystem that is mobilising $410 million in programme funds for the promotion of the industry over the next five years.
These resources will be raised from both the private and public sector and will be implemented primarily by the private sector.
The expected benefits to African countries include facilitation attainment of Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want, and be a good base for the export of African film products and services to international audiences and customers;
The meeting also took note of Pan African Federation of Filmmaker’s proposal on Regional Centres of Excellence in Film Production and Post-Production for the promotion and development of the audiovisual and cinema sectors in Africa.
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