Artists, creative people in general, are notoriously ill equipped to profit from the arts they produce. Africa in Colours, a newly formed organisation, wants to change that, and help realise the full potential of Rwanda’s creative industry.
The organisation, began as a production company, then as Hobe Agency, before deciding that the greatest challenges to be solved, lay in equipping creative people, with the skills and support, so they can make a living from the fruits of their creativity.
“Talent is one thing” says one of the organisers, Raul Rugamba, “but if you cannot harness it with skills and make a living from it, it will not get you very far, and it cannot be developed.”
The organisation takes a PanAfrican outlook, and is part of a network of 37 similar organisations, around the continent and beyond.
As part of a larger network, they can avoid duplicating the services they intend to offer, and they can access those they cannot offer, by referring creators to others within the network.
Africa in colours is supported by the ministry of youth and culture, and is linked to all the major creative institutions in the country. The Bank of Kigali, or BK, as it is popularly known, is out of the blocks early, in realising the potential within the creative industry, and is giving its support to Africa in Colours.
Their primary objective is to provide training, particularly in finance, and of course skills.
As of now, they are enrolling candidates for training in 3D animations, and video gaming development, and entrepreneurship in cultural and creative industries (CCI).
The organisation has high ambition, but it wants to avoid biting off more than it can chew for the moment, and will announce what it can do at any particular stage, on its website, Africanincolours.com.
According to a study commissioned by UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation), with the International Confederation of Authors, and Composers Societies (CISAC), the creative industry worldwide is worth $2.5trillion, and generates almost 30million jobs.
Creative industries employ more people than the combined automotive industries of Japan, United States of America, and Europe. While they employ predominantly young people, they are open to people of all ages, and backgrounds, and they employ more women than traditional industries. In some instances, more than 50% of employees are women.
It is to these opportunities that Africa in Colours aims to link Rwanda’s creative industry, which although still in its infancy, is vibrant and highly active. To help it grow, and fulfil its undoubted promise, Africa in Colours suggests, and offers, skills, skills, skills.