Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
At the 9th African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, in Yenagoa,the Bayelsa State capital,President Goodluck Jonathan pledged technical and financial support to the host state in the promotion of the tourism industry and establishment of an under Water Research and Imaging Centre in the state.
The project would be executed in collaboration with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization,UNESCO, to create training opportunities for the people.
President Jonathan disclosed that the N3 billion earlier pledged to the movie industry would be made available in the next few weeks and also announced a donation of N25 million to the proposed Yenagoa Film City.
He was represented by Mr. Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture and Tourism.
Also speaking at the event, Governor Seriake Dickson announced a Bayelsa State Indigenous Movie Trust Fund with an initial donation of N250 million for the development of budding talents, which would be managed by persons from within and outside the state.
He described the entertainment industry, especially Nollywood as a major employer of labour and a medium for cultural exchange and vehicle for rebranding the country and continent.
As a way of acknowledging the contributions of the Nollywood stars, the Bayelsa state Governor also said government would make available plots of land to deserving stars who would be required to build befitting residential accommodation and take advantage of the facilities that would be provided at the proposed Yenagoa Film City.
He hinted that by next month, a programme of electronic surveillance would be activated to strengthen existing security measures and peace in the state, as night life has returned to the state.
President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, who was represented by his country’s high commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Luis Mnguni said his country shares in the aspirations and struggles of Nigeria and the entire African continent to eradicate poverty and marginalization as well as create a better Africa and a more cohesive world.
In her speech, which was centred on the theme of this year’s AMAA “Africa One”, the Chief Executive of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe, said it is incumbent on film makers to use the medium to change the mindset of Africa by Africa and for Africa as that was the whole essence of the Academy.