Discop Africa / Abidjan 2016 wrap up - interview with the organizer

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By Sylvain Béletre for Balancing Act, June 2016.

Exclusive Interview with Patrick Zuchowicki, director and founder of Basic Lead, the organisation behind Discop Africa, just a few days after Discop Abidjan was held from 31 May to 2 June 2016.

One of the objectives of the Abidjan Discop 2016 in Cote D'Ivoire was for this country to become the largest hub of audiovisual production in the subregion. Altogether, 182 producers and content creators were present. The results of this great edition was extremely positive and recorded a large attendance with over 1,100 delegates. This event ignited a lot of activities from young people and the media on social networks - Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube - and spawned numerous articles. RTI produced and broadcast news reports that you can catch up here (in French):

Opening ceremony of the 2nd edition of DISCOP Abidjan

Preparation - Abidjan, the Ivorian capital hosts the 2nd edition of Discop.
In 2015 already, RTI had spoken of the first edition here
2015: RTI sign productions development agreements with international structures. See here.

On the occasion of the official ceremony, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, Daniel KABLAN DUNCAN, opened the first SUMMIT of TELEVISION, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Communication of Ivory coast, intended to encourage the development of a multiscreen and multiplatform audiovisual industry and generate employment creation across West and Central Africa.

"Given the exceptional fundamentals including Francophone Africa with has a population of about 300 million people, a single currency, customs, and language, political stability and that growth forecasts hold good, the goal is to make Ivory Coast the great hub of audiovisual production in the sub-region" said Ms. Affoussiata Bamba, Minister of Communication of Ivory Coast.

Discop Africa ended on "Meet your Stars", a dynamic pool of young talent and new programmes to be broadcast soon. We noted international coproductions as a growing trend.

A gala dinner in honor of Turkey, in the presence and Ms. Esra DEMIR, Turkish Ambassador in Ivory Coast, and the Minister of Communication of Burkina Faso, Rémis Fulgence DANDJINOU uncovered the talents of Ivorian comedian Joel Eric N`Gadi.
Turkey was the country of honor this year, but a sudden change in the Erdoğan government had prevented the Turkish audiovisual players to attend this event.

"What I remember is the incredible dynamism of the audiovisual sector in the West African region. Ivory Coast begins to play a leading role for audiovisual production that will feed a 300 million francophone market, "said Patrick Zuchowicki, adding that the industry must "feed in national African television channels which claim that they not have enough content. "

"We accompanied Columbia a few years ago. Today, this country is one of the leading suppliers of telenovelas in Latin America. Following the same model, Côte d'Ivoire represents for us the leading country of the large FSA area - French Speaking Africa - with the potential to produce many programs and channels for the region "

The next step in Ivory Coast is to go from a craft industry to an industrial model: "Building one or more large studios in Ivory Coast would be the logical result of the emergence of this sector. This country can become the # 1 provider in Francophone Africa, "notes Patrick Zuchowicki.

The next Discop Africa will take place from 2 to 4 November 2016 in South Africa, Johannesburg with the the United States as country of honour. As part of the Conferences menu, "it may be that we talk about youth and education programs," concludes Patrick Zuchowicki.

Difficult to design, edutainment is one genre that many African TV channels are missing. Fusion of entertainment and education, this program allows to catch young audiences and advertising budgets. It is a form of entertainment designed to educate while entertaining. In Ivory Coast, two animation and cartoons studios began producing programs for children. With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 (the youth bracket), Africa has the youngest population in the world. The current trend indicates that this figure will double by 2045 or 2050, according to the 2012 African Economic Outlook report and other analyst firms.


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