Kigali Audiovisual Forum to focus on content development

(L-R) Felix Siboniyo, Head of Single Project Implementation Unit at RDB, the head of Tourism and Conservation in RDB Ariella Kageruka and Victor Chudal-Linden, from GIZ during the news conference at RDB headquarters in Gishushu on Tuesday. Dan Nsengiyumva

Rwanda is set to host the second edition of Kigali Audio Visual Forum, which is slated for 27th through 28 this month with focus on how to boost content development for the television and film industry of Africa and beyond.

The forum is organised by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and different other partners.

The first edition was held last year.

It will be held under the theme “tapping into the potential of Africa’s creative industries” this year’s forum is expected to convene over 500 delegates and stakeholders mainly from film and television industry from across Africa.

Other expected participants include development partners, students and funders of the two sectors.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Felix Siboniyo, Head of Single Project Implementation Unit at RDB said that despite the governments' interventions to support the audiovisual sector, a number of challenges including low investment, adherence to intellectual property laws, lack of collaboration between artistes still hinder the sector’s growth.

Last year, the government embarked on the journey to support the sector’s development through a commitment to work with different audiovisual players to support local authors and push the sector to the next level.

Siboniyo said that a number of interventions have been put in place since last year, especially the unveiling of the first innovation centre that looks to facilitate mainly audio-visual tech operators.

The centre operates two different programmes, both incubation for start-ups and training of students, this is in a bid to boost job creation and also excite young innovators thus develop the ICT eco-system of the country.

However, he also added that the country hosting the forum for the second time is an implication that the government is committed to elevating the sector performance.

Ariella Kageruka, the head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB recognizes the audiovisual sector as one of the high potential areas in the country.

“We consider this sector as one of the key components for economic development and job creation especially for the youth. Therefore, it is a promising niche market for film tourism and culture development”

A recent report by the African Audiovisual commission, indicated that a push to the audiovisual and cinema the industry can increase the sector’s contribution to the African GDP from the current US$5 billion to $20 billion.

The report also pointed out that an estimated 5 million people are employed in this industry and it has a potential to create 15 million jobs.

Kigali Audio Visual Forum is an annual meeting that was initiated last year aiming at bringing tangible, measurable solutions that align with the country’s objectives of ensuring sustainable expansion of the Audio-visual sector in Africa.

Content development, Intellectual Property, financing, sales and distribution, Africa’s ability to use technology in storytelling, the sector professionalization as well as the development of professional skills in production and distribution are among the key topics of this year’s forum.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com