Dubbed ViFoStock, the platform was created by 28-year old Jean Pierre Mazimpaka, a photojournalist and videographer.
Mazimpaka explained the platform is also one of winners of the creative industry recovery fund amidst the COVID-19 pandemic effects.
Recently 23 outstanding projects were selected out of 30 potential candidates.
Each of the winners including VIFO Ltd received Rwf10 million in seed funding under the Rwf300 million ‘Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) recovery plan’, an initiative organized by ArtRwanda –Ubuhanzi project, Imbuto Foundation, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and others.
“Photographers and videographers will be using the platform to store and sell their photo, video and audio products from Rwanda,” Mazimpaka explained.
The platform takes after the model of other platforms such as Shutterstock, SmugMug among others known for providing storage and selling photos and videos.
“One can take photos and videos, edit them and upload them on the platform and then be paid depending on a number of those who used them across the world,” he noted.
The art enterprise has started with an opportunity for the photographers and videographers to open at least 20 accounts on the platform for free.
“Those who open accounts will be paid for the first 20 products they will put on the platform. The opened account is considered as a ‘stand in a market place where vendors display their goods’ and therefore photographers will have ‘stands’ to exhibit and trade their work. Those to benefit must have been in the industry for at least three years,” he explained.
Mazimpaka said that the platform will add value to photographers and videographers so that they generate money from their work.
“We need transformation from the platform in Rwanda. Every person from every corner across the world in need seeking images can get them on the platform. This aims to add value to work by Rwandans,” he noted.
After the initial free accounts, the next step is for others who want to be part of the initiative to open their accounts on the platform.
“Those who need accounts will be paying a little fee to be able to use the platform. The other alternative is that they can be charged a fee whenever their photos are bought via the platform,” he said.
We thank the government for helping us in the recovery fund so as to promote locally produced photos and videos, he added.
Pictures and videos from Rwanda have not had an ideal opportunity to access the international market hence not as popular globally, he said.