The Kenya Film Classification Board, KFCB, will give KSh. 1 million to clean content creators who hit the one million subscribers mark. This is in a bid to promote the creation of clean content as the Board rolls out a promotion dubbed, ‘Sinema Mashinani’.
KFCB Sinema Mashinani Concept
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) is a State Corporation under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. The Board is mandated by the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap222 to regulate film and broadcast content to promote culture and values as well as to protect children from exposure to harmful content. The Board appreciates that the creative industry is among the largest contributors of income to the global economy today. In 2013, a UNESCO report showed that the creative economy employed close to 30 million people across the world.
According to the survey, the industry generated $2.25 trillion in revenue, accounting for 3 percent of the world’s GDP as at the end of 2013. In December 2015, a study commissioned by the International Confederation of Authors and Composers’ Societies (CISAC) revealed that Africa and the Middle East region had attained a revenue output capacity level of $ 58 billion, creating 2.4 million jobs. The study established that African music was playing a central role in the development of popular music in North America, South America, and Europe.
According to the study’s findings, film production has turned into a significant driving force in creation of employment opportunities with reference striking successes such as Nigeria’s Nollywood, which provides direct employment to an estimated 300,000 people. With advances in technology and continued investment into the industry, these figures are expected to rise.
The Nigerian film industry, also known as “Nollywood,” produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood. Although Nollywood’s revenues trail those of Bollywood and Hollywood at the global box office ($1.6 billion and $9.8 billion in 2012, respectively), Nollywood still generates, on average, $600 million annually for the Nigerian economy, with most of these receipts coming from the African diaspora. It is estimated that over one million people are currently employed in the industry (excluding pirates), which makes Nollywood Nigeria’s largest employer after oil and agriculture. In Kenya, the film industry is estimated to be having a potential to generate KSh.200 billion annually.
Despite this huge revenue output and job creation capacity, most of the opportunities available in the industry are yet to be exploited. Considering the impact this potential could make in transforming the country, it behoves institutions in both the public and private sectors to create initiatives to facilitate the country to tap into the huge pool of talent, and to inspire enterprise in the creative economy. Indeed, Kenya boasts a highly talented youth population, particularly in the arts. These talents need to be pooled together into a national economic force to transform the country by contributing to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through job creation. In tapping into the creative talent potential of the youth, the Board is rolling out the Sinema Mashinani project, which aims at encouraging enterprises in the creative sector by identifying and nurturing talents across the country.
The project, which will be rolled across the country, also seeks to facilitate production of films in vernacular, celebrating the Kenya’s cultural and linguistic diversity. The implementation of the Sinema Mashinani project is designed to address various challenges in the industry. These include the dearth of adequate facilities for training and nurturing talent, lack of sufficient access to film production equipment, and poor access to platforms for showcasing creative talents. These aspects have inhibited an optimum exploitation of the potential of the creative industry.
Through the initiative, KFCB aims at facilitating the production of more local content to help local broadcasters to achieve the 60 percent local content threshold required by the Programming Code for free-to-air Radio and Television Services in Kenya by 2018. Access to content in some rural areas is also a challenge in light of the high cost of appropriate receivers and lack of connectivity to the grid. This denies citizens the opportunity to enjoy informative and educative content such as how to boost agricultural production given that Kenya is largely an agricultural economy.
To mitigate these challenges, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) intends to acquire modern equipment to enable access to content in the grassroots. This will be done through free mobile cinema theatres in every county. The Board will also set up talent academies in each county to identify and nurture creative talents among the youth even in the rural areas. With increased interest in Kenya as a filming destination, the partnership will also enhance surveillance and inspection of filming activities to ensure national security in light of the rising use of film by unscrupulous entities to promote terrorist activities.