Njeri Murago-Munene is the founder of CineArts Afrika and an award-winning film producer/director with experience spanning over three decades. Njeri has served the film industry in Kenya, within the continent and internationally in various capacities advocating for conducive policies to grow the African audio-visual and cinema industry.
Before starting CineArts Afrika in 1990, she worked with the Voice of Kenya (VoK), now Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) now Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in the Educational Mass Media department before joining Worldview International Foundation, an international Non-Governmental Organisation dealing with production of film and audio-visual documentaries.
Njeri is also a founder member of the Kenya National Film Association (KNFA), a member of the International Federation of African Audio-visual Professionals (IFAAP), a member of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), and a founder member of Kenya Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO).
Pioneer Woman Filmmaker – 2014
International Women Film Festival – Udada Festival
Lifetime Achievement Award – Kalasha 2012
Kenya Film Commission
Certificate of Appreciation 2002 – 2007
Media Council of Kenya
First Pan African Women Inventors & Innovators Awards – 2005
Apart from her work at CineArts Afrika, Njeri has been instrumental in building the Kenyan film industry. As Chair of Kenya National Film Association (KNFA), she was part of the team that helped establish the Kenya Film Commission, transformed Kenya CineWeek to Africa CineWeek festival and steered the creation of Kenya International Film Festival (KIFF). She also served as a taskforce member for Kenya Censorship Board and the Film Policy taskforces. She represented the film industry at the Media Council of Kenya board from 2002-2007.
In the continent, Njeri served as the Regional Representative and Executive Director of Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI). She was part of the steering team from East Africa that helped create the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).
Njeri participated in African Union (AU) and FEPACI meetings on the creation of the Africa Audiovisual and Cinema Commission in Niamey, Niger in 2011. Served as a moderator in the African Union 3rd Cultural Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2012 and in 2015 African Union Commission invited Njeri to serve on the Bureau of the 4th Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4), as the 2nd Vice Chairperson alongside other dignitaries from around the continent. She was a member of the committee that reviewed the African Union Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries.
Njeri initiated the process of hosting the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) in Kenya and led the team that worked to establish it. As a board member of FEPACI representing the Eastern Africa region she approached the Government of Kenya regarding hosting the AACC in Kenya. The GoK embraced the proposal and in 2007, through letters from both the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, indicated their willingness to host the AACC Secretariat.
The journey took some years working with the GoK and AU. In 2016, the AACC was established. In 2017, the Statute was endorsed by the AU Ministers of Youth, Culture and Sports in Nairobi. The meeting also approved Kenya’s hosting of the AACC Temporary Secretariat.
In February 2018, Njeri participated in a meeting in Nairobi that drafted the Host Agreement of the AACC Temporary Secretariat between the African Union Commission and the Government of Kenya. In February 2019, the 32nd AU Assembly endorsed the Statute.
On 18th February 2023, at the margins of the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua and H.E. Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development signed the Host Country Agreement between Kenya and African Union (AU), paving way for the operationalization of a Temporary Secretariat of the AACC in Kenya.
As the Focal Point on AACC, the AUC invited Njeri to participate in AU missions to present the Statute to various Member States in:
Njeri served as Steering Committee member of the Global Water Partnership in charge of communication and participated in the Global Water Partnership (GWP) conferences in Sweden, Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda among others.
GWP’s unique value is to “mobilise action on the global water crisis through a unique combination of social capital, shared values, credibility within the global water community, bottom-up orientation, and expertise. A network of networks, GWP ensures the ‘voices of water’ can inﬂuence local, national, regional, and global development priorities.
Njeri presented “A View from Africa” at Wildscreen International Film Festival in Bristol, United Kingdom in 1994. The presentation led the festival management to include environment documentaries in their festival.
Wildscreen’s goal is “to convene the best photographers, filmmakers and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists to create compelling stories about the natural world; that inspire the wider public to experience it, feel part of it and protect it”.
Njeri represented Kenya at the World Bank ‘Visions, Voices and Visibility’ symposium in Washington D.C., USA in 2004 as a content provider. The aim of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for public broadcasters and development practitioners, content providers from across the world and the World Bank to discuss their respective interests and common grounds.