No fewer than 30 young Africans, selected from various African countries were empowered with animation skills at an animation boot camp recently organised in Lagos State, Nigeria, by Magic Carpet Studio and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The one-week-long training had participants from Gabon, Nigeria, Chad, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Sierra Leone amongst others, go through the fundamentals of digital animation created with the view of instilling arousing their interest in becoming animation experts and training their peers when they return to their country.
Speaking with THISDAY, the CEO of Magic Carpet Studio, Ferdinand Adimefe, said the studio is an innovative storytelling company focused on using animations to tell stories.
According to him, 24 of the participants were from various countries across West and Central Africa, and they were all trained in the fundamentals and foundation for beginning a career in animation, while also pursuing the creation of an animation business in their own countries.
He said the boot camp was designed as a train-the-trainer course, with the idea to transfer animation skills to participants and to get them to also transfer these skills to other young people in their various communities.
“Our hope out of this program is that two or three years from now, we are going to see these animators produce movies like Lion King, and Prince of Egypt and export those African Stories to the rest of the world.”
Speaking about the animation industry in Africa, Adimefesaid the industry is contributing less than 4 per cent of the global GDP.
“The reason is that we don’t have institutions in Africa that specialise in training people in animation.
“There is a growing demand for Animators globally so the impact of this boot camp would be felt in Job creation. In a few years from now, a lot of these young people will be able to work for bigger studios. We are also seeing that the African economy can grow.
“For every animation movie, we have thousands of people working across the cabin of production. So for every animated movie, jobs are being created.”
Also speaking, the Director of Programmes, Office of the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, Nwanneakolam Vwede-Obahor said the United Nations (UN) is keenly interested in African youth empowerment with a view of creating more opportunities that can spiral into the creation of more jobs and skills for the populace.
According to her, “We have continually looked for how to create opportunities for the youth of the Sahel in the sense that factors its peculiarities and opportunities.
“The fact that the Sahel is very young presents an opportunity for us in trying to solve the challenge of what to do with these many youths who are without any means of livelihood.
“Hence our interest is in youth empowerment and animation is one of the pathways through which we are empowering youth.”