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U.S. Department of State Announces Film, Music, and Television Platforms to Strengthen the U.S.-African Creative Economies,

POSTED MARCH 30, 2024..

Office of the Spokesperson:


Last week while in Lagos, Nigeria, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield announced that the United States will elevate educational and cultural platforms to strengthen creative economies between the United States and Africa. The announcement of these platforms builds on a recent visit to Nigeria by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and aligns with President Biden’s 2022 Executive Order to use the creative arts to strengthen ties between the United States and African nations by fostering collaboration among government entities, community leaders, philanthropic organizations, the private sector, and the African diaspora to promote economic growth and opportunities on both continents.


During a speech at the University of Lagos, Assistant Secretary Satterfield announced a film-focused pilot program for Nigerian students as part of the Community College Initiative Program (CCI), which taps into the U.S. community college system to provide educational and technical training to international students and helps prepare them for the workforce in their home country. In support of Nigeria’s broader efforts to build capacity in the creative economy, the first cohort of Nigerian participants will spend the 2024-2025 academic year at a U.S. community college focused on technical training in the film industry.


Assistant Secretary Satterfield also announced that mid-level music industry professionals from Nigeria, as well as Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, and Morocco, will participate in the first-ever American Music Mentorship Program (AMMP), which is a partnership between the Department and the Recording Academy. AMMP connects international mid-career music industry professionals with mentors, who are members of the Recording Academy. AMMP was first announced by Secretary Blinken at the launch of the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative in September 2023. Learn more here.


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. This summer, ACTV will bring television professionals from across the African continent to Los Angeles for a four-week residence at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where they will be mentored by American television writers, producers, and industry experts.


NOTE BY MELANIE: 

BUT WHAT ABOUT GAY STUDENTS (LGBTQI+) ! BUT WHAT ABOUT LGBTQI+ POSITIVE CONTENT – A SAMPLING OF THE 30 + CRIMINALIZING COUNTRIES INCLUDE GHANA – 3-10 YEARS, NIGERIA 16 YEARS, UGANDA – LIFE IN PRISON, KENYA – 21 YEARS, MALAWI – 14 YEARS, ZAMBIA -14 YEARS, DEATH: NORTHERN NIGERIA, MAURITANIA, SUDAN, SOMALIA


Criminalization has caused extreme violence in these 30+ countries and lack of criminalization but profound societal taboo causes the same in remaining countries in Africa. Has the State Department and programs created any caveat’s around this issue?  It is complex and sensitive but MUST be addressed. Relations with the countries that allow abuse of human rights and violence against of LGBTQI+ people with impunity must be held accountable, at the very least with targeted information that corrects misunderstandings and the current lies that are spread about LGBTQI+ people and human sexuality and gender identity.. Perhaps these creative realms can be a tool for change. However such must be benchmarked. The question is to what extent must such be transparent?


Kenya has told NETFLIX that it cannot stream LGBTQI+ content in Kenya. It seems Netflix, without input from those directly impacted, has obliged.


While indeed cultural exchange is valuable toward impacting anti LGBTQI+ sentiment – such could go either way. It could be an instrument of change if handled appropriately and with well-considered immersion. It could also result in ongoing narratives that the WEST is influencing the export of HOMOSEXUALITY. The latter a ridiculous narrative, yet the governing popular narrative in African Countries. In truth the West has exported the reigning HOMOPHOBIA, courtesy Evangelicals and COLONIZATION’S notorious Penal Codes from earlier centuries.


Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition is a qualified country of origin expert witness in the United States and global immigration courts, providing expert written country conditions reports and testimony for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, non-binary, LGBTQI + asylum seekers from 20 African Countries, to include activists, allies and human rights defenders. Melanie also consults multinational corporations regarding briefings and policy for operations and issue impacted by anti-homosexuality laws and country conditions.

COMMISSIONERMNATHAN@GMAIL.COMEXPERT WITNESS PAGE HERE.


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