Rwf3b to rescue creative industry

Tuesday July 28 2020

Neptunez

Neptunez Band performs at one of its past events in Kigali. Photo: Andrew. I Kazibwe  

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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The government plans to establish a Rwf3 billion fund to fasttrack recovery of entertainment industry from impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Artistes had raised concerns over slow recovery of the sector that largely requires crowd to be back on its feet, but Ministry of Youth and Cultures it is firming up its recovery plan to breathe new life into the industry.

According to the ministry, the government is carrying assessment to gather data on the extend of the impact the lock down had on entertainment industry then pump in recovery funds.

Four months into Covid-19 measures, which among other things prohibit large crowds, artists took advantage of online platforms to keep in touch with their fans, even though returns were not impressive.

“Art sector and creative industry have been deeply affected. Some of the art categories have been able to continue working but on a low pace,” said Francois Nyangezi, Cultural Industry Development Specialist at the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

A few artistes mainly comedians, visual artists, fi lmmakers, theatre acts and a few fashion designers have overtime been seen making use of the online platforms like social media to stay afl oat, but this can barely be leveraged towards an earning for them.

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“The most a  ected category is the entertainment, as it requires gathering of people,” said Nyangezi.

Nyangezi revealed how the Ministry of Youth and Culture is conducting a rapid assessment on the impact of Covid-19 on creative industry as a whole so as to see the real picture and hence get a clear way to intervene for the benefit of the sector.

“The main intervention was captured and requested by the respondents in the assessment as to help creative industry members regain their occupations and recover businesses," he adds.
To the ministry, these interventions have been planned for short, medium, and long terms in a recovery plan that has been already kicked off.

Nyangezi noted that most privileged medium of doing business in the creative industry is the use of ICT and the response has been mainly directed to art digitalisation, marketing, and commercialisation.

The government plans relief for artistes through media talks on revamping the creative and cultural industry among others, the Sensitisation on ‘Made in Rwanda,’ Art use and consumption locally and eventually international, alongside the digital commercialization of Artworks.

The long-term plan includes review of the cultural policy and strategy to include frameworks of newly adopted ways of doing business in the creative industry according to Nyangezi.

Compared with other sectors, which have gradually sought ways, the COVID 19 lockdown recovery process by the Ministry of Youth and Culture seems to have been delayed, Nyangezi sees otherwise,

“The recovery plan has not been delayed as such, but it needed to be informed by a valuable and statistical tool to better handle the situation,” he explains. Nyangezi said the recovery plan is now in place and actions have started to be implemented. Online platforms are helping artists to keep in touch with their fans and raise funds for their upkeep.

Some events like Iwacu Muzika, The government revealed that is allocating the existing resources to be used and cater for artistes in need, and setting up a structure of securing capital to art development projects, among other initiatives in the pipeline.