Welfare of Kenyan entertainers reviewed after Uhuru's State address

By ELIAS GITHINJI KARUOYA | Wednesday, Jan 15th 2020 at 09:41
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Creatives in the Kenyan entertainment industry are bound to heave a sigh of relief following strategic approaches pronounced by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2020 state of the nation address. The president acknowledged that the industry is of fundamental essence to the country’s economy.

He, however, observed that content creators have been unable to actualize their full potential due to a lack of enabling circumstances. Against such actualities, adoption of a new policy framework will enhance the solidity of the industry and foster a conducive atmosphere where players are empowered, and their efforts rewarded appropriately.

The elimination of brokers is a key highlight of the revolutionary scheme that seeks to restore sanity in the trade. Forthwith, agents who pass as content service providers will be dispelled to facilitate direct collaboration between artists and the available digital media spaces, for example, Skiza and Songa.

This follows a directive requiring the ministry of ICT to withdraw the condition whereby digital media platforms have to work through licensed Content Service Providers. Hence, artists will reap maximally from the tremendous potential of the internet and modern technologies.

Effectively, collection management for artists’ royalties is set to be more robust. Tariff guidelines for 2020 are already in place and awaiting gazettement. Within the provisions of such guidelines, it will be practical to monitor compliance of service industries like public utility vehicles, hospitality, and broadcasters towards their obligation in paying the required tariffs.

In such a way, the projection for the increase in collections from a previous Sh. 200m per year to an estimated 2 billion shillings per year will be realistic. With such a substantive pool of funds, effective oversight of the distribution of artists’ royalties, and easily auditable accounts courtesy of the Kenya Copyright Board, creators of entertainment content are destined for good fortunes. To benefit fully from these provisions, artists are directed to register with the National Rights Registry.

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