Rwanda launches COVID-19 recovery program for cultural industry, artists

The skyline of Rwanda's capital Kigali, which has emerged as an important center for East Africa's arts sector. (Photo: Adrien K / Creative Commons)
The skyline of Rwanda’s capital Kigali, which has emerged as an important center for East Africa’s arts sector. (Photo: Adrien K / Creative Commons)

A multi-party program, named the Cultural and Creative Industry Recovery Plan, was launched on Friday in Rwanda to support enterprises in the cultural and creative industry, as well as artists, to recover from COVID-19.

The program focuses on supporting seven federations in Rwanda in the sectors of music, film, plastic arts, writing, beauty and fashion, traditional dance and performing arts, according to a press release.

It will provide 300 million Rwandan francs (about 313,000 U.S. dollars) in grants to support initiatives from art enterprises and artists, promote access to resources, facilities and training opportunities free for artists, and engage Rwandans to learn about, love and buy made-in-Rwanda art.

According to the press release, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-COVID-19 measures led to a halt or postponement of planned activities within the industry, which has financially affected artists.

The funding will help artists acquire training that will enable them to use information technology to reach their fans as restrictions on gatherings remain, Rwandan Minister of Youth and Culture Rosemary Mbabazi said Friday during a talk show on Rwanda Television

It will also help them rent premises for exhibition of artistic creations, among others, she said.

The funding is “a timely intervention by the government,” said Ferdinand Munezero, head of Rwanda Arts Council, an umbrella organization of artists.