President William Ruto is set to meet TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Thursday, August 24, 2023, to discuss how content on the platform can be monetised to benefit Kenyans.
Speaking in Nakuru during the Kenya Music Festival Winners’ State Concert, the Head of State said the discussions will also explore ways to regulate negative content on the platform.
"Tomorrow morning, I will be speaking to the global CEO of TikTok so that we can agree on a mechanism to moderate content on their space so that we can reduce the content that is negative and leverage the monetization that is benefitting a lot more people," said Ruto.
In the same breath, the President said he had been in talks with heads of various social platforms including X, Facebook and YouTube to devise ways to monetise content for the greater good of all those who put in their sweat to ensure Kenya is on the global map.
"Over the past year, I have discussed with the owners of social media platforms, from Facebook to X to TikTok including YouTube and we have progressed our conversation and I am happy to say that two of them have already agreed to monetize content in Kenya.
"YouTube, for example, we are now at 80% monetization. We are one of the four countries in the African continent that we can now monetize our content on YouTube," he said.
Adding: "These platforms bring between Ksh300 million and Ksh500 million every month, so we are increasing the revenues as a country from this space.”
Ruto also challenged the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to create a YouTube channel where plays and other co-curricular activities involving students can be posted and later monetized.
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This, he said, would enable parents to promote their children’s craft.
TikTok ban petition
Last week, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula received a petition seeking to ban TikTok in Kenya.
Wetangula confirmed that the petition was from Bob Ndolo, an executive officer of the Bridget Connect Consultancy.
The petitioner argued that content shared on the platform was inappropriate and vulgar, thus detrimental to the country’s moral fabric.
He also claimed that the data of TikTok users was not safe as it is shared with third parties.
Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, however, stated that there was nothing wrong with the platform, calling for a more sober approach to regulating the use of the application.
"Outright banning would be killing careers. The government now appreciates this as an industry we can raise revenues. We just need to regulate,” he said.