By Claire Wanja
The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts Dr. Ali Wario wants more corporate sponsorship to Africa’s fledgling film industry.
Addressing a board meeting of the Pan African Federation of Film Makers/Federation Pan-Africaine Cineastas (FEPACI) at a Nairobi hotel, Nairobi, Dr. Wario said Kenya’s government had donated about Kshs. 100million to the continental body for film projects and expected the private sector to complement this gesture.
“International companies with franchise business in Africa, should upon declaring mega profits morally be inclined to channel some proceeds to various causes.”
He added that Africa’s growth is hampered by numerous challenges including wide-spread poverty, uneven wealth distribution, disease and the latter-day threat of terrorism
Despite the limitations, he said, Africa can still enhance its visibility by having its voice heard in the right places.
FEPACI board comprises regional secretaries East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Seychelles/Madagcar as well as affiliate members from The Caribbean and North America (Canada, USA, Mexico). Its Secretary General is Senegalese film-maker Cheick Oumar Sissoko.
Among issues discussed by the board are proposed establishment of African Film Fund, African Film Library and the Pan African Film School.
Flanked by the Principal Secretary for Culture and The Arts Joe Okudo, the Cabinet Secretary cited an ironical trend where many films plotted in Africa are shot in Europe and other extra-African destinations.
He attributed this to lack of adequate inter-governmental coordination and poor incentive/legislative schemes.
Dr. Wario said the Ministry had drafted a Music Policy, Culture Policy and Language Policy and at the same time announced that the establishment of the Kenya Film Academy is a big achievement towards enhancing professionalism in the Film industry.
The academy opens its doors this April with an initial class of 30(thirty) selected for natural talent out of 2000 applicants.
The course approach will be mostly hands-on to help refine the raw talent.