NAIROBI – The Kenyan government expects television and radio stations to air 60 per cent of local content by 2018. Kenyan content developers have demonstrated their ability to be innovative, creative and entrepreneurial in the creation of content in recent times.

Mr Fred Matiangi, the cabinet secretary for information, communications and technology (ICT), says the government has already developed legislative and policy tools to facilitate the development of local content for the broadcast industry.

“Our colleagues in the ministry of culture and sports are coming up with a whole model of frameworks that protect local content developers,” he says. “From that point of development – investors whether they are in the content development or otherwise need to understand one thing, government can only do so much. We need investors to come and work with local people in the development of content.”

In October, the government announced that it has set up a special fund to support the development of local content and to revitalise the creative industry. The Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya, in conjunction with the Kenya Film Commission, has also insisted that all local television stations and radio broadcasters carry majority of local content in order to encourage talent growth and create employment.

However last month, players in the media industry argued that they should be allowed to decide what is broadcast on their television stations. Nonetheless, the CA, through its broadcast advisory committee, will be looking to ensure that the local content proposal is adhered to as the creative industry contributes 5.3% to Kenya’s GDP.

“We are going to be very serious as government that [local content] is improved because that is the only way we will provide an opportunity to local developers as it were,” Mr Matiangi says. “We would like to support local content developers [and] strengthen the intellectual property framework so their development or content is not pirated.”

East Africa’s biggest economy is also in the process of migrating to digital broadcasting from analogue systems. The government is keen on capitalising on this as digital content is a major contributor and driver of economic growth in developed countries.


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