Written by Joe Jackson on Jan 24, 2022. Posted in General Interest

Netflix commits USD1 million for African training scholarships

A new scholarship has been created for Sub-Saharan Africa’s next generation of storytellers. The Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESFC) will generate new opportunities for film and TV students across the continent. This financial support draws from the media conglomerate’s Creative Equity Fund. Launched in 2021, Netflix’s scheme will allocate funding for various initiatives across the world over the next five years, aiming to develop a strong, diverse pipeline of global creative talent.


“Netflix is excited by the potential of the next generation of storytellers and we’re committed to investing in the future of African storytelling in the long-term,” explains Ben Amadasun, the company’s Director of Content in Africa. “We believe there are great stories to be told from Africa and we want to play our part by supporting students who are passionate about the film and TV industry so they too, can ultimately contribute to the creative ecosystem by bringing more unique voices and diverse perspectives to African storytelling that our global audiences find appealing.”


The popularity of crime drama Queen Sono (2020 to Present) underlines Netflix's recent interest in African media production


This support initiative will assist the formal qualification and training of aspiring creatives from countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Those who wish to study in South Africa (and are able to obtain the necessary permissions to do so) will qualify from the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


The Netflix CESF will provide financial assistance at partner higher educational institutions (HEI) in South Africa through full scholarships.  The scholarship fund covers the costs for tuition, accommodation, study materials and living expenses at institutions where beneficiaries have gained admission to pursue a course of study in the television and film disciplines in the 2022 academic year. Participating institution include: AACA Film and Acting School, AFDA, Boston Media House, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), City Varsity, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Johannesburg (UJ), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), University of Pretoria (UP) and University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).


The scheme is targeted for rollout across the region in the academic year commencing in 2022, starting with an open call for applications in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments, who will act as the implementation partner and funding administrator in Southern Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced in due course.


Students interested in applying for scholarships for the 2022 academic year will be able to find additional information, application criteria, a list of partner higher education institutions (HEI) and will be able to apply online. Applications are open until 04 February 2022, 23:59 Central Africa Time (CAT).


Image courtesy of Netflix

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