Be smart – CARICOM ASG advises Guyana, Suriname animators
Be smart in the business of animation.
That’s a bit of sound advice that Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration at the CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox offered animators from Guyana and Suriname.
The animators from the Guyana Animation Network and the Suriname Animation Network visited the CARICOM Secretariat on Friday and interacted with Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan PhD., Mr. Cox, Deputy Programme Manager, Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Ms. Jennifer Britton, and representatives from the Human Resource Development Directorate.
ASG Cox told the GAN/SAN that if they wanted to move ahead they had to do so with purpose, dedication and training. He said being successful would require a long-term commitment. He encouraged them to create synergies with other CARICOM countries and to try to access funding from International Development Partners. His final piece of advice to the animators was to pay attention to copyright so that their ideas and work did not get stolen.
“This is a large industry where you can make considerable amounts of money … $220 billion dollars and that was just in 2013,” he said, referring to the value of the animation industry in that year.
In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary-General, told the group that the CARICOM Secretariat had been involved in developing the Regional animation industry for quite some time. She said at the time the Secretariat became involved, many persons did not understand the industry or how beneficial it could be.
In its inception, everyone was uncertain about it but as things grew and got more familiar and people see that, it gets traction and everybody gets on board, she said.
Ambassador Soeknandan also used the opportunity to congratulate the CARICOM staff who had been lobbying for the development of the animation industry from the early stages saying she was grateful that they did not lose hope.
She highlighted a number of projects within the CARICOM Secretariat that have focused on the animation industry while encouraging the young people, who hailed from varying backgrounds including the legal profession and aviation industry, that whatever they did they should do it well. The DSG said the main challenge was to ensure that there was an impact on those persons who were participating. According to her, if you invest in youth you would like to know that it changed their life in a positive way.
“I wish you success in what you are doing and please do not forget to see if the projects you are involved in are changing people’s lives especially when trying to gain funding from International Development Partners,” she said.
In the discussion which followed, the animators said that they were involved in a number of initiatives including the production of an animation piece for the Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival which will be held in Port-of-Spain Trinidad and Tobago in October. They said that large scale training was the next step for Regional animators and requested support from organisations such as the CARICOM Secretariat.
They also spoke of a proposal to the CARICOM Member States to assist with bringing in the experts to do an initial training programme from which a training of trainers programme would be developed. They said that they were working to build the synergies with other CARICOM Member States including Jamaica as was suggested to them by ASG Cox in his remarks.
The GAN was officially launched in Georgetown, Guyana, on 2 July, 2016. GAN is a network established to use it resources to create and provide access to opportunities for persons within Guyana’s artistic, creative and technological communities; to develop the requisite skills, with their talents; and to service the Caribbean Animation Industry. The SAN was launched at an ICT Summit in Paramaribo in July 2015. It’s most recent event was the Totness Creations Festival, in Paramaribo last July. The Festival featured animators and ICT professionals from Suriname and Guyana including members of GAN.