President Akufo-Addo to grace first Africa Cinema Summit in Ghana

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will attend the maiden edition of the Africa Cinema Summit (ACS) scheduled to take place in Accra from Tuesday, November 14 to 16, 2023.

The first of its kind in Africa, the two day event is a key commitment of the Ghana Cinema Agenda launched by the National Film Authority of Ghana (NFA) to revamp the film sector in Ghana since the authority was established in December 2019.

The Africa Cinema Summit is expected to bring together major players and decision-makers such as government officials, film authorities and commissions from various African countries tp explore ways to address challenges in the industry.

Over 20 African countries and many global players will be attending the summit including Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Among them are South Africa’s Stekinokor, Century Cinemax, which is the largest cinema player in East Africa, Association of Nigerian Cinemas (CEAN), Canal Olympio and Pathe from French Africa. ( Related article: Ghana hosts first Africa cinema summit in November)

Also, Warner Brothers will premiere the thriller of The Color Purple, an upcoming American musical coming-of-age period drama film directed by Ghanaian filmmaker, Blitz Bazawule at the summit.

The decision of President Akufo – Addo to grace the maiden ACS gives weight to the relevance Ghana places on the cinema agenda in making room for adequate policies and regulation to push the agenda.

According to the 2021 UNESCO report, the film and creative sector is the largest employer in Africa with a projected value of over 20billion dollars.

The report also highlights that with a population of 1.4 billion, Africa only boasts of 1,700 screens. This means that roughly over 80% of the population have never had a cinema experience.

The situation may perhaps be worse in Ghana where the country only boasts of less than five functioning cinemas in the Greater and Ashanti regions, serving a population of over 35 million.

These gaps undoubtedly remain high, including the lack of infrastructure, funding, and adequate professional and expertise training.

Hence the summit, which is being organised by the NFA in partnership with Filmhouse Group and Silverbird Cinemas, Ghana, falls within the broader agenda and objectives to highlight opportunities for cinema growth and the required roles of players in the sector.

The Africa Cinema Summit will similarly provide a platform for stakeholders in the industry value chain across the world to discuss challenges and explore potential and opportunities in the African cinema space.

According to Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, the CEO of NFA and the convener, “the summit is premised on the two pillars of content growth and cinema screens growth on the continent”.

“It is imperative ACS becomes a national and continental dialogue and we should be proud to have done the work to finally make this happen not only for Ghana, but for the entire continent of Africa.

“Everyone needs to get involved in this conversation. From the student, teacher, market woman, corporate organisation, and of course, to Government”.

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