The Kenyan Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, and video on demand firm Netflix have signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly deliver efforts to strengthen Kenya’s creative industry and support the development of the next generation of storytellers. 

This is the first MoU for Netflix in Africa,  and will be marked skills & capacity development, creative sector infrastructure development, marketing and media spend, digital consumer protection, and local content investment. 

Pillars


Netflix has invested in three Kenyan co-productions, which are currently in development.

The selected Kenyan titles will be revealed later closer to their premier dates on Netflix will have an opportunity to enjoy Kenyan storytelling and experience Kenyan culture.

Netflix will commit to supporting human capital development and institutional capacity building to enhance the digital content ecosystem in Kenya.

This commitment includes the Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund for Africa, which is being administered through HEVA Fund for the East Africa region.

Furthermore, and under the MOU, US$100 000 will fund scholarships for 30 beneficiaries covering tuition, living expenses, learning materials, and stipend, in support of Kenya Film School and the African Digital Media Institute.

Also, a further US$200,000 has been allocated towards scholarships (inclusive of fees, accommodation, living costs, learning materials, and stipend) for aspiring creatives to study at other Kenyan institutions that provide film and TV studies.

There’s also a scholarship opportunity for aspiring Kenyan creatives to study for a Masters in International Screenwriting and Production (MISP) at the University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.

Netflix will work alongside the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) to promote responsible digital parenting and appropriate viewing practices for consumers of online content and Netflix members.

The collaboration will include the rollout of educational tools on online safety, joint sensitization programs on digital parenting, and joint campaigns on age-appropriate online environments.

Besides, Netflix will also collaborate with the Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya under its campaign on Child Online Protection (COP) launched in 2021.

As part of the collaboration, Netflix will work with industry players convened by CA and contribute to the industry microsite on COP.

Netflix will also work with the Kenya Film Commission and other stakeholders that will be determined by KFC, to offer institutional capacity building and provide technical support towards the design, establishment, and rollout of a fit-for-purpose screen production sector incentive and the requisite frameworks for operationalizing the structure in Kenya. 

Lastly, Netflix will also partner with KFC to identify capacity development areas that would benefit the local creative ecosystem.

Netflix has 222 million members in over 190 countries.

The company reported that it lost more than 200K subscribers for the first time in a decade.

Quotes

[From L – R] Njeri Gitungo of HEVA Fund, Alfred Ambani – Communications Authority representing the DG, Christopher Wambua – Ag. CEO KFCB, Timothy Owase – CEO KFC, Shola Sanni – Netflix Director of Public Policy SSA, Mr Joe Mucheru – Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation Youth Affairs, , Dorothy Ghettuba – Netflix Director for African Series, Kibaara Kiagu – Director KFC, George Gachara – Co-founder HEVA Fund and Ernest Kerich of the KFCB Board of Directors during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi today.

ICT Infrastructure in the country has improved thus presenting a good business environment for OTT platforms such as Netflix. This MoU will not only facilitate job creation in the country but also unlock training opportunities for screen sector development. We welcome this partnership with Netflix because Kenya has many stories to tell the world and all the initiatives with the various partners will help us ensure we have the ability to create quality stories -ICT CS Joe Mucheru.

We are cognizant that there are positive socio-economic outputs generated by our service in the countries where we invest. This MoU will play a major role in harnessing these positive externalities driving impact beyond direct investment in local content only, to measurable inputs in other crucial aspects of the screen production value chain – such as human and institutional capacity development – Ms. Shola Sanni, Director of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa at Netflix.


Netflix is excited by the potential of Kenya’s next generation of creative storytellers. We believe there are great stories in Kenya and we want to do our part for Kenya’s creative community by supporting the development of the local film and TV industry and talent pipelines, both in front of and behind the camera, through partnership initiatives . We also hope that the stories will encompass themes which are unique to Kenya, which our global audiences will find appealing – Netflix’s Director of Series in Africa , Dorothy Ghettuba

Thank you to our Cabinet Secretary, Hon Joe Mucheru and our PS Miss Esther Koimett for their continued commitment to the growth of the film industry and thank you to the Netflix team for choosing to invest in the Kenyan film sector. This partnership will see us continue on our journey in the development of a vibrant Film and TV industry that reflects Kenyan identity, character and cultural diversity and will help the Film Industry to be appreciated further for its potential to contribute significantly to the Kenyan economy – Kenyan Film Commission CEO Timothy Owase.


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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]