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President Akufo-Addo backs Ghana hosting Africa Cinema Summit 2024

The ‘Africa Cinema Summit 2024’ is to be hosted in Ghana under the patronage of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.

The National Film Authority (NFA) of Ghana and Silverbird Cinemas are the other supporting institutions of the event, which aims to consolidate the progress made in the African cinema industry.

It is the second consecutive time the country is hosting the event after the 2023 edition, which achieved notable results, particularly emphasised by the President’s assurance to approve the Film Tax Incentive for the Ghanaian film industry.

Collaborative ventures were also successfully established among African countries, with the Filmhouse Group committing to distribute Ghanaian films across Nigeria and other partner nations.

This year’s Summit will be held from October 7 to 10, 2024, at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, on the theme ‘The Relevance of Cinema in African Communities.’ It will focus on promoting collaboration, innovation, and sustainable growth in the cinema industry.

Ms Jul
iet Yaa Asantewa Asante, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NFA and Convener of the Summit, said ‘Africa’s cinematic prowess is undeniable, yet remains largely untapped.’

‘Through the biggest cinema event in Africa, the Africa Cinema Summit, we envision a transformative journey that can create over 20 million jobs and contribute an impressive US$20 billion to the continent’s combined GDP as projected by the 2021 UNESCO Report.’

The NFA, in a document copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), announcing the second edition of the Summit, stated that this year’s event would tackle the growth in quality local content and reimagining ways of introducing the cinema culture to Africa’s youth population.

It seeks to delve into the deep end of some core issues.

Ms Asante noted that over 80 per cent of Africans on the continent had never been to a cinema, attributing the development to the lack of infrastructure, which tended to erode the cinema culture in communities.

‘In line with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s asse
rtion that both the cinema world and Africa need each other, Africa represents an underserved market.

‘Currently, with less than 2000 cinema screens catering to over 1.4 billion people, and with less than 20 per cent of the population having experienced a cinema visit, there exists significant potential for growth.

‘Moreover, considering the rapid population growth across Africa, the demand for cinematic experiences is poised to increase substantially,’ the NFA Chief Executive Officer stated.

Ms. Asante viewed this year’s Summit as a significant opportunity because people believed it was possible to persuade Africa’s one billion youth that cinema was a viable entertainment option.

‘The entire cinema world must join us on this journey that holds the future sustainability of not only African cinema, but world cinema,’ she advised.

In line with the Summit, the NFA has named the executive steering committee, consisting of executives from the global cinema, content, and creative communities.

They comprise Mo
ses Babatope, Co-founder and former Group Managing Director, Filmhouse Group, Rob Arthur, founder and partner, Entertainment Solutions, Tim Yaw Struthers, Senior Advisor, Global Engagement, NFA of Ghana.

The others are Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director, Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) Africa, and Funmi Onuma, Country Manager, Silverbird Cinemas.

Last year, the inaugural Africa Cinema Summit convened representatives from 20 African countries.

This landmark event facilitated critical discussions on the cinema landscape in Africa, focusing on exploring and tailoring opportunities to suit the unique characteristics of each geographic location across the continent.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture notes that funding the film industry is a prudent investment as the sector offers numerous business prospects.

‘We call on all those interested in investments in Africa and especially Ghana, to consider investing in the infrastructure that supports the ecosystem, especially in studios and cinemas.

‘This ca
n only yield great returns on investments considering that the future of cinema is this continent. Ghana as well is committed to working on the policy changes needed to help propel a thriving film ecosystem,’ Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, the Minister said.

Source: Ghana News Agency