Global streaming platform Netflix
The Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) partners with higher education institutions throughout east Africa to support film and TV students with tuition, accommodation, living expenses, and study materials.
Award-winning entrepreneur and leadership coach, David Imonitie Jr, said on the initiative, “I think it’s great for the region and it’s fantastic for procuring and growing talent. It’s very clear that the film and TV industry is in the midst of mass expansion across the African continent, now is certainly a time to invest in skills and growth there.”
Students from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, and Uganda will be eligible as long as they have been admitted into a course for the 2022 academic year. Partner institutions include the Kenya Film School, Kenyatta University, KCA University, Africa Digital Media Institute, and United States International University.
Netflix’s CESF has already launched in Southern Africa for film & TV studies and will also benefit students from other parts of Africa – particularly West and Central. Reportedly, fund administration partners for West and Central Africa will be announced in due course which will be followed by a call for applications.
Focusing education on emerging areas
For a long time, the film and TV industry wasn’t seen as a viable mass populous career choice in Africa. There were pockets of successful projects through Nollywood and other areas but by and large, the sector was not wholly feasible. That is all changing.
The worldwide industry is seeing dramatic growth to such a scale that there is a legitimate fear productions in the future can not be fully staffed as there are not enough workers in key skill and crew positions. The opportunity therefore through knowledge and education is more viable across the continent than ever before.
Imonitie established a welfare trust called the iBelieve Foundation that is focused on welfare in Africa, especially providing children with necessities such as clothing and food.
He believes several growth sectors across Africa are ahead of film and TV because of ease of access that can potentially offer some foresight into where entertainment is heading.
Imonitie also set up BelieveNation to help entrepreneurs understand and pursue these areas globally through offering key insight – as a successful entrepreneur himself – and promoting conversations between members to share best practices.
“There are numerous areas for development across Africa that are very exciting. Most importantly there is a keen sense of understanding growing around financial expectations akin to what they are globally, and a fight against exploitation that has been rampant for years.” He said.
“This increased understanding of the zeitgeist – and opportunities to push into new industries – will see massive potential realized across the continent.”
Generally, a film and TV crew member can make between $50,000 – $100,000 per year on average depending on their role and location. The goal across Africa will be to domestically create and attract productions to aid in the future of the sector there.
“I feel with emerging regions there is a substantial opportunity to grow labor markets based on current trends. If there can be fast movement towards new sectors and concepts that are gaining traction, genuine career paths can be provided for both the new and established generations.” Imonitie concluded.
“The days of traditional pathways are dwindling, we must focus on being resourceful and creating the right mindset for success.”