Government Commits to Spur the Creative Economy Growth
The Government has affirmed its commitment to supporting the growth of the Creative Economy to ensure that the sector contributes significantly to Kenya’s national development through job opportunities for the youths as well as wealth creation.
While speaking on Friday 29th September 2023, during the inaugural first-ever State-of-the Film Industry Summit, organized by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) in partnership with the Kenya Film and Television Professionals Association (KFTPA) and other industry stakeholders, which was held at the Nairobi Film Centre (NFC), the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, CS Hon. Ababu Namwamba EGH, said the Creative Economy is among key priorities of the Government as established in the Kenya Kwanza PLAN.
“The film sector has been treated badly. To correct that history of mistreatment, and neglect, we have ensured that this sector is anchored in the manifesto of the PLAN on what the Government desires for this key sector of the economy”, the CS said, adding that among the five pillars of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), the fifth pillar is all about transforming the film sector into an industry that sustains decent livelihoods.
Hon. Namwamba stated that the Government through his Ministry is championing key reforms and initiatives aimed at transforming the Creative Economy with the key focus of putting money in the pockets of creatives, and sportsmen and women who have continued to fly the Kenyan flag high on the local and international stage.
The CS lauded the first-ever film summit, noting that it resonated well with his Ministry’s agenda, specifically the TalantaHela Initiative. “Our focus is to ensure that we have an industry that is profitable. To do so, we need to invest in original quality production outlets and exhibition spaces,” the CS said. He further said that monetizing talent under the #Talenta Hela’ which basically means ‘putting money in the pockets of creatives and sports persons, is the top-most priority of the Government, emphasizing that the 5th Administration is banking on the Creative Economy as one of the quick-win sectors in fostering economic recovery and opening new opportunities for the youth under the economic blueprint of BETA.
The CS revealed that his Ministry has embarked on the process of reviewing and where necessary, developing new policies and legislative documents, noting that one of the key aims of these reforms is to provide mechanisms for the establishment of a Film Fund to facilitate access to rebates for both local and foreign filmmakers. The Fund will also provide access to finance for the acquisition of modern equipment and film production infrastructure by local filmmakers, and promotion of the country as a filming destination.
On royalties and revenue streams for creatives, the CS said that the Government is keen on restructuring the investment and financing space in a manner that attracts investors. “We must invest in infrastructure equipment, quality production, and training facilities that can support the industry,” he stated.
As part of recognizing and appreciating creatives, the CS further revealed that his Ministry is putting together an award scheme that is unique, prestigious, and accompanied by a serious financial award.
The CS lauded KFCB, KFTPA, and all industry stakeholders for spearheading the Summit, stating that there is a need to collectively champion programs and initiatives that will spur the growth of the Kenyan Creative Economy.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the CS chaired a meeting with Netflix officials, led by Ms. Shola Sanni, Director of Public Policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, and discussed collaboration between Kenya and Netflix in content monitoring, moderation, regulation, and monetization, among other issues.
On his part, Mr. Ismail Maalim Madey, PS, State Department for Youth Affairs and The Arts, reiterated the Government’s commitment to revamp and spur the Creative Economy.
“The Government is keen on revamping the Orange Economy by creating enablers that will facilitate investments in the film industry,” the PS said. Maalim urged stakeholders in the Creative industry to support initiatives that the Government, through the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports is fronting to spur the Creative Economy in line with BETA.
The KFCB Ag. CEO, Joel Wamalwa, affirmed the Board’s commitment to supporting initiatives geared towards identifying and nurturing talents among the youths in the Creative sector for job opportunities and wealth creation, through a facilitative regulatory environment that will spur the growth of the Creative Economy.
In a move geared towards creating a facilitative regulatory environment for the Creative Economy to thrive, Wamalwa said that the Board, through the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, has proposed a review of the Films and Stage Plays Act Regulations and Guidelines. Through the regulations and guidelines, the Government has proposed a 15% reduction in licensing fees for local filmmakers.
“As KFCB evolves into a 21st-century film regulator, we want to reassure our stakeholders in the entire value chain that we will live up to our brand promise; of Safeguarding Your Reel World’. We shall ensure that we remain progressive in our policy propositions while safeguarding our Kenyan culture, values, and national aspirations,” Wamalwa said.
Themed: Breaking barriers and shaping the future, the Summit sought to provide a platform for industry professionals to gain insights into the latest trends, policy matters, challenges, and advancements within the film sector as well as advocate for the industry's interests.
Other speakers at the Summit were PS, State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Professor Edward Kisiang’ani, KFCB’s Board Chairperson Hon. Njogu Wa Njoroge HSC, the Kenya Film Commission CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO, Mr. David Omwoyo, Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi, KFTPA, Chairperson, Dr. Ezekiel Onyango, Kenya Cultural Centre incorporating Kenya National Theatre, KNT, CEO, Mr. Michael Pundo, and representatives from local Creative space.