Broadcast, Film and Music conference opens in Nairobi
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
An international Broadcast Film and Music Africa (BFMA) conference has opened in Nairobi.
Organised by AITEC Africa, the meeting aims to boost global partnerships, promote digital content sharing and discuss the latest technologies in the industry.
Themed “Innovation, investment and partnerships for local content and service excellence,” the conference has attracted over 30 media houses, including international news service providers BBC, SuperSport and AFP.
Countries represented include Belgium, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Ghana, Israel, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, UK and USA.
“We have speakers from all around the world… contributing to the two-day programme, offering the region’s creative content industry the most impressive line-up of knowledge, business insights and mentoring they could hope for from any industry event,” said AITEC Africa’s Chairman Sean Moroney.
“This is the place for executives looking to network with their peers across the continent and gaining knowledge on best practice in technology and business models across the continent and internationally, said Mr. Moroney.
The event’s vision is to become the leading annual business and technology gathering for Africa’s rapidly growing creative content industry.
Gary Rathbone, until recently SuperSport’s head of Africa will talk about sports content and how free to air and pay TV can take advantage of sports to grow their bottom-line, as well as local sports and youth talent.
IpsosSynovate, will present latest research findings on trends and genres in news, sports, films, TV series, educational, animation, documentaries, games and kids programmes”.
Other prominent local media personalities at the event include Mukula Were, Founder of the East African Documentary Network, HannelieBekker, Managing Director in charge of programming at Pay TV network Zuku, Joe Otin of Ipsos Synovate and Wanuri Kahiu, a filmmaker and representative of the Goethe Institute.
Others include Daniel Furnad, chief operating officer at Africa 24 Media; Dorothy Ghettuba, chief executive officer, Spielworks Media; Julian Macharia of Buni Media and Julian Smallwood, partner and director, Media Made in Africa.
The Nairobi conference coincides with the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) which opened on July 7 2012 and will close on July 15 2012.
Aitec said BFMA is primarily a technology and business event for the media and creative content industries. The conference is focussed on two main areas of industry development: Content Development and Content Distribution.
Our vision is to grow BFMA as the continent’s premier business and educational event for the electronic media and creative content industries. We appreciate the support of our existing sponsors and partners, including the Kenya Film Commission, NDS, Balancing Act, Kenya ICT Board, Internet Solutions, Solstice and Smoothtel – as well as all our exhibitors. All these organisations share our vision of working together as an industry to expand and mature the industry through education and innovation.
“One general point I’d like to make in relation to the development of the region’s film, music and general creative content industry, is that local business, banks and investors are failing to recognise the huge investment potential on their doorstop. These are new industries, usually with no bricks and mortar involved and I suspect that local finance sources are not agile or imaginative enough to grasp these opportunities,” advised Mr Moroney
He urged local businesses to reach out to international investors ‘who understand these opportunities more clearly.’
“That is why we have created at this year’s BFMA the first Africa Media Business Exchange, to enable start-ups to meet with international investors and present their business ideas for assessment and possible investment. Seven international investment funds will be participating in this. We are pleased to be organising this in partnership with FilmBiz Africa and we have seven international investment funds who will be meeting with start-ups during the conference to assess their business ideas and investment propositions,” he said.