In recent years, Rwanda has witnessed the emergence of locally-produced animations being utilised in various contexts, particularly for children's edutainment and commercial content. Various stakeholders within the sector have played a significant role in driving the developments. However, pertinent questions arise: what is the current status of this dynamic fusion of artistic expression and technological innovation? What obstacles and challenges does the industry face today? ALSO READ: Essence of telling old Rwandan stories through animation Credia Umuhire Ruzigana, the founder and CEO of Imanzi Creation, recognises that the industry has transformed over the past five years given that there was a lack of animation production capacity, and most content had to be outsourced. She highlighted that it was also challenging to find companies in Rwanda capable of delivering quality animations that align with the Rwandan narrative as opposed with today. Now, we have many companies that have risen to fill the gap. We have moved from the 2D and are capable of making 3D animations. We are trying to make feature films, like full animations of one hour or 30 minutes. I’d say we are trying to up our game,” she noted. ALSO READ: Ze Match: Rwanda’s superhero in new 3D animation movie When asked about the change in revenues and client attitudes over the years, Ruzigana noted that while the pricing for animation services hasn't changed much, clients currently understand the value of the content they receive, with more institutions, government bodies, and NGOs adopting animation as a means of communication. Discussing the lingering challenges, she highlighted the expectation from the audience for Rwandan animations to match the quality and standards of Western animations immediately, saying, “This can be challenging because achieving such high quality is costly, and the industry is still in the process of development.”. Another challenge, according to Ruzigana, is the undervaluing of animation, as some people still perceive it as only for children. She emphasised the need for industry professionals to challenge the stereotypes and make it clear that animation is for everyone. ALSO READ: Ndabaga: A 2D animation that seeks to sustain Rwandan cultural heritage Patel Amuri, an animation artist who is also the CEO and founder of Ihuro Animation Studio based in Bugesera, also recognises that there have been some improvements within the industry despite challenges. He said that more artists are venturing into the animation field, contributing to changes in the industry, while some are still in the process of learning and educating themselves. The primary challenge highlighted by Amuri is the small market, explaining that many content creators struggle to find a sustainable market for their work, which leads to quitting. “Despite the improvements and increased interest in animation, the market remains a problem,” he emphasised. Amuri further highlighted the need for more support from multimedia houses and organizations, explaining that such support is crucial for the animation industry to grow and overcome the challenges it faces. “Making good animation involves multiple stages and challenges that require attention and resources to be addressed effectively,” he noted. Some of Patel’s popular animations include songs for children like “Bye Bye Ingona” and “Abana Bakunda Gukina n’Utunyoni.” Willy Ndahiro, the former president of Rwanda Film Federation has been following the animation industry over the years. He expressed hope for the future but acknowledged that the industry is still young and requires more effort to grow due to its unique challenges and the demand for a high level of knowledge and skills. Ndahiro also noted that while a few people have finished their training and are doing well in animation, there is a limited market for animation in the country, especially in television channels. “Big organisations like RBC are supporting animators but they are few. Many are still honing their skills in schools and training centres,” he added. Ndahiro further highlighted that there are very few animated films made by Rwandans, adding that the Rwandan Film Federation primarily advocates for animators and collaborates with educational institutions to facilitate skills enhancement.