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This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.
In this week’s news, Nigerian filmmakers get a big break and Ghana’s women take to the roads.
Toronto International Film Festival Turns Spotlight to Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria was chosen by the Toronto International Film Fesitval (TIFF) to take part in its 2016 City to City program. Each year, TIFF chooses a city whose filmmakers are showcased, and this year they turned their sights to Africa. The Nigerian film industry, known informally as ‘Nollywood’, is one of the largest in the world. It is second only to India’s Bollywood in terms of yearly output. Nollywood has been economically important to Nigeria, bringing in around $1 billion annually. However, the industry has faced several issues such as piracy. Nigerian actors and filmmakers hope that exposure generated by TIFF will bring attention to Nollywood and inspire African filmmakers. In total, eight Nigerian films were screened at the Festival this past week.
Ghanian Woman Break Gender Roles by Learning to Drive
Fifteen Ghanian women are learning to drive in order to break gender roles. A charity called Network of Women in Growth (NEWIG) is instructing the women though an eight-week course. Working women in Ghana traditionally take on more feminine jobs such as baking or creating and selling textiles, but the women that NEWIG is training hope to become professional drivers. Driving jobs, such as chauffeuring or commercial driving, are traditionally held by men in Ghana. The Ghanaian military support the women, who believe their carefulness and training will make them successful professionals. The military partnered with NEWIG to make sure the women receive great training, and has also been teaching them first aid and other skills.