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20.05.2011 General News

NAFTI and Academy of Media Arts in Cologne sign cooperative agreement

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May 19, 2011
Accra, May 19, GNA - National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) on Thursday signed a collaborative academic partnership and cooperation agreement with the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne, Germany.

Under the agreement NAFTI is affiliated to the Academy to develop and supervise NAFTI's professional Master's Programme in Media Arts.

The programme expected to begin in 2012, the Master's Degree Certificate, would be issued under the seal of the Academy until NAFTI gains its own charter.

The academic cooperation includes students and faculty exchanges, scholarships for NAFTI faculty and graduating NAFTI students to study at the Academy, collaborations on research and publications on the Ghanaian Film Industry; curriculum development, technical and service support for NAFTI.

The agreement was jointly signed by Professor Linus Abraham, Rector of NAFTI and Mr Klaus Jung, Rector of the Academy.

Prof Abraham said the agreement was a very important development for NAFTI as it advanced as a tertiary institution.

He said Ghana did not have any institution offering professional postgraduate programmes in media production, and "this is a logical step for NAFTI, as the country, and Africa, experience rapid growth in the media, with the attendant need for better trained media professionals with advance educational and professional skills."

"Until the Institute gains its charter, there is the need to get an affiliated institution that will supervise the master's programme. In the absence of any educational institution offering professional programmes in the media at the postgraduate level in Ghana, we have to look outside for that affiliation, and the Academy is an obvious choice, given their experience, and NAFTI's past experience of cultural cross-collaboration with German Institutions," he added.

Prof Abraham, therefore, stressed the need to move the film, television, and broadcasting industries in Ghana beyond simply being petty enterprise that provided inconsequential and cheap thrills for localised audiences and move towards creating a cinema of substance that made serious inroads into the huge global market of film and television.

He said part of the solution involved enhancing credit facilities for production, and the creation of a cluster economy for film and television to facilitate the growth of the media industry.

"But a critical part of that solution also lies with education and the ability to create highly skilled, but intellectually developed professionals, who will man the media industry. This is where NAFTI's strategic direction as the main training institution for professionals in the industry, not only in Ghana, but in Africa as a whole, becomes critical to the direction and quality of development of our film and broadcasting industry," he said.

Mr Jung said they had learnt a lot from their visit and confident that NAFTI had the potential to become a leading Institute for film and television production in and from Africa.

"But we also have seen the conditions, under which your work has taken place in the last years. We admire the inventiveness and creativity, which again and again compensates for the lack of appropriate equipment.

"It is also clear that NAFTI needs a substantial boost in investments. As an institution of higher education we at the Academy do not have the means to provide such investment but we can help to tell all those who need to hear it, NAFTTI deserves that boost," he added.

Mr Jung said it was an investment in the future of young people which would form and shape not only their fate, but nothing less than the future of a nation.

He said in an attempt for an internationalisation strategy, "we have been looking for a small number of partners worldwide, that we wish to strengthen our ties with.

"We want NAFTI to be one of those partners, not only to open up for the exchange of students, but to start relating to each other, talk to each other, understand each other, investigate the potential of research and artistic development together and help each other to grow and refine that art of film making, art making, media participation and television production.

"Not only on practical terms, but also underpinned by a robust and critical discourse around all those phenomena and what they do to our lives", he added.

Mr John Tia Akologu, Minister of Information, commended the two institutions for the initiative and hoped that it would improve the current situation in NAFTI.

He said during a visit to NAFTI on assumption of office, he was shocked that NAFTI was still training students with the analogue machines and assured the Rector to assist the institute to acquire modern equipment in future.

Professor Kofi Anyidoho, Chairman of NAFTI Board of Directors, said there was the need to re-tool and re-frame the new generation of NAFTI to take its rightful place on the continent.

He urged the students to take advantage of the collaboration to place the institute on a higher pedestal.


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