AS THE art industry continues to expand in Africa, many artists are following suit and combining effort to continue growing the industry. Local artist, Prosper Vugayabagabo, who was among the first graduates of the first cohort of ArtRwanda-Ubuhanzi, launched an initiative that will not only boost arts in Rwanda, but the continent as a whole. Dubbed ‘Sanaa’, the online platform was launched on April 1 during the graduation commencement of the first cohort that consisted of over 60 artists who completed a one-year incubation programme of the ArtRwanda –Ubuhanzi. In an exclusive interview with The New Times, the brains behind Sanaa platform said that seeing how African artists lack platforms to showcase their projects, he came up with the idea for artists to get exposure as well as earn money from it. Vugayabagabo, who is also a screenwriter, film writer and producer, highlighted that this platform will be working as an online amphitheatre showcasing movies and series of Africa only. “The platform aims at developing finances and careers of African artists in a simple and stable way that follows African codes of conducts, laws, norms and regulations as applied,” Vugayabagabo said, explaining the mission of his platform. Another target for his innovation, he said, is to help people with advisory devices with the internet to access and watch African arts and stories in a simple way, and to get entertained and learn about African art at a low cost. “It will also help artists and storytellers to easily sell their art and stories to a big market around the world,” he added. The new online platform has three sections such as movies, TV and live streaming of different events including musical concerts as well as exhibitions. So far the platform consists of different projects such as the ‘Bambe’ movie produced by Mutiganda Wa Nkunda, who recently won the best script in FESPACO awards, and another renowned movie dubbed ‘Umutoma’. ‘Sanaa’ platform is currently working in different countries of Africa such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and its subscribers are allowed to pay for only what they want to watch. If well utilised, Vugayabagabo believes that his platform can uplift the cinema industry in Africa the same way Netflix is pushing it to greater heights.