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L-R: CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba, the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba and CA Board Director Mr. Paul Mureithi speaking at the 2023 Kuza Awards.

Play More Kenyan Content, CS Namwamba Urges Broadcasters

The Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba has called on broadcasters to devote more airtime to local content as a way of supporting the country’s creative economy.

Namwamba said Kenya boasts high quality content and that broadcasters play a key role in showcasing this potential to the world. ‘‘Use this space to promote Kenyan productions. If you allow the Kenyan content to rule the broadcast airwaves, the quality is top notch,’’ said the CS during this year’s Kuza Broadcasting Awards hosted by the Authority on 16th June 2023.

He said in order to increase visibility of Kenyan content, the Authority should work closely with broadcasters and content creators to foster avenues for amplifying Kenyan productions.

‘‘I want to urge the regulator to work with media owners and content creators and provide more airtime to Kenyan creations. That way you will help to accelerate the growth and development of the creative economy,’’ he added.

The CS noted that the Kuza Awards were playing a significant role supporting the creative economy as an avenue for employment and socio-economic growth.

‘‘This is a very prestigious award. Each one you who is going to walk home with this award, goes home with more than just an accolade. You go home with an appreciation of the incredible work you do in promoting broadcasting and communications in our country,’’ he said.

The government, he added, was determined to transform the creative economy as a key contributor for economic growth, evidenced by initiatives launched in the sector such as Talanta Hela.

''We are determined to elevate the creative economy into a mega cog in the wheel of the Kenyan economy. By amplifying it in this award, you are adding wind into our sails as a country,'' added the CS.

At the same time, CA Chairperson Ms. Mary Mungai acknowledged that the broadcasting sector was undergoing tremendous challenges in the face of emerging technologies and shifting consumer preferences, calling for a paradigm shift to confront the realities.

‘‘It is evident now that traditional media are facing unprecedented challenges brought about by emerging digital technologies, and the changing consumer behavior. On the flipside, the same digital platforms have created immense opportunities for content creators, and consumers can now access diverse content in the most convenient ways,’’ she said in a speech read on her behalf by Mr. Paul Mureithi, a Board Director.

The Chairperson challenged the broadcasting industry to explore practical and innovative solutions to the prevailing challenges and adopt an approach that resonates with the country’s immediate priorities.

‘‘Of course, there’s no magic bullet to solve this, but I believe through constant conversation between the various players in the sector, we can forge a mutually agreeable approach,’’ she added.

CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba observed that with the digital convergence continues to profoundly impact the broadcasting and creative sectors, providing immense opportunities for growth.

‘‘The creative economy contributes about 5.3 per cent of the country’s GDP with the number projected to increase to about 20 per cent in the next five to seven years,’’ said Mr. Chiloba.

He said broadcasting and content creation are complementary ecosystems that if harnessed well, can contribute immensely to Kenya’s economic growth.

‘‘Without content, broadcast infrastructure is useless. Without content creators some of us would not have employment opportunities. The more content we are going to consume, the more economic activity we are going to see and this is the space we are going to invest more and more,’’ he said.

The DG challenged the broadcasting industry to constantly think about the future of the sector shaped by emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented, Virtual and, Extended reality platforms such as the metaverse.

‘‘The challenge for us to ensure we prepare ourselves broadcasters to how converge legacy media into greater value in the new world of digital economic participation. It is the same challenge that we have as regulators. How do we enable investors and players in the broadcasting industry create more value for themselves and the country given the digital transformation we see around us?’’ he posed.

The event was also graced by media regulators from South Sudan.

The Kuza Awards are held annually by the Authority to celebrate excellence in the broadcasting industry. This year’s event was preceded by a one-day conference which discussed emerging issues and how to grow the broadcasting industry.