European Union extends EURO 2m to Uganda’s Film Industry

HABARI DAILY I Kampala, Uganda I 

The European Union (EU) and the International Trade Center (ITC) have joined forces in a groundbreaking initiative to accelerate the growth of Uganda’s film industry. 

With a substantial investment of Euro 2 million (sh8 billion), the project, aptly named “Opportunities are Here” (OAH), is set to invigorate the country’s budding film sector. Its primary focus is on nurturing young entrepreneurial talents in Uganda, providing them with tailored mentorship, networking opportunities, and exposure to media platforms, all of which are intended to open up new export avenues and enhance the industry’s trade capacity.

Jan Sadek, the European Union Ambassador to Uganda, unveiled the OAH project at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. He outlined the project’s ambitious goals, emphasizing its commitment to professionalizing the Ugandan film industry. 

(L-R) Jan Sadek Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda and Juliana Naumo Akoryo Commssioner of Culture in Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development,addressing film makers and actress and actors during launch of the opportunities are here (OAH) project by international Trade center and European Union at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on October 26, 2023.

Sadek spoke of the need for expert skills development, capacity building for creative businesses, and access to regional and international markets. “The approach involves the nurturing of skills among content creators and equipping young creatives with the skills to produce and market high-quality original Ugandan content,” he remarked.

One of the project’s primary objectives is to foster strong connections with creative ecosystems and improve access to global markets. By doing so, the project aims to make Uganda’s film industry more robust and internationally competitive. 

Sadek highlighted the potential of Uganda’s youthful population and their vibrant creativity, underlining the importance of harnessing this energy to bolster the film industry and create job opportunities for the country’s youth.

The “Opportunities are Here” project is set to run for two years and will reach all corners of Uganda to exploit the various opportunities offered by the country’s diverse landscape and ecosystem. Sadek expressed his enthusiasm for the project’s potential to unearth dormant talents and bring them to life, ultimately grooming up to 5,000 creatives from all over the nation.

Heather Barnes, the ITC associate programme officer, noted the vast potential within Uganda’s filmmaking industry and highlighted how the project could stimulate the growth of streaming platforms and increase access to affordable digital equipment. Importantly, the initiative aims to address the critical issue of financial opportunities for the industry, which has been a persistent challenge for Ugandan filmmakers.

The registration for “Opportunities are Here” was officially unveiled on October 30, welcoming aspiring Ugandan filmmakers, young creatives, and artists to participate in this exciting venture.

The ITC, a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, is dedicated to assisting small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transitioning economies to become more competitive in the global market. 

The EU, a political and economic partnership among 27 European countries, plays a significant role in international affairs, focusing on diplomacy, trade, development aid, and collaboration with global organizations.

Sadek emphasized the EU’s partnership with Uganda, utilizing effective political dialogue and targeted cooperation in key areas like Green and Climate Transition, sustainable Growth and Jobs, and Democratic Governance and Social Inclusion. 

This partnership seeks to advance not only Uganda’s film industry but also various aspects of the nation’s development and growth. As the “Opportunities are Here” project unfolds, it holds the promise of transforming Uganda’s film landscape, empowering young creatives, and contributing to the nation’s economic development

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