US State Department Announces Initiatives to Drive Creative Economic Growth

Ms Lee Satterfield, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

The United States Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ms Lee Satterfield, has announced initiatives aimed at enhancing educational and cultural platforms to strengthen creative economies between the United States and Africa.

Ms Satterfield made the announcement during a visit to Lagos, Nigeria, underscores a deliberate push to leverage the influence of film, music, and television in fostering economic development and opportunities.

In line with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s recent visit to Nigeria and President Biden’s 2022 Executive Order to use the creative arts to strengthen ties between the United States and African nations, the three-programme initiative seeks to bolster capacity and improve economic growth within the creative industry across both continents.

Assistant Secretary Satterfield outlined the initiative, which includes a film-focused pilot programme integrated into the Community College Initiative Programme (CCI) for Nigerian students. This programme aims to equip participants with educational and technical training tailored to prepare them for the workforce in Nigeria. The inaugural cohort of Nigerian participants will spend the 2024-2025 academic year at a US community college, specializing in technical training within the film industry.

Another integral component of the initiative is the American Music Mentorship Programme (AMMP), designed for mid-level music industry professionals from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, and Morocco. This programme offers participants the opportunity to engage with mentors who are members of the Recording Academy. Secretary Blinken initially announced this initiative at the launch of the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative in September 2023.

Furthermore, the African Creative TV (ACTV) initiative focuses on professional development and networking opportunities for television writers, producers, and other technical fields such as art direction, cinematography, editing, and line producing. Participants will undergo a four-week residency at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, where they will benefit from mentorship provided by American television writers, producers, and industry experts.