Ezra Chiloba, Director General (DG) Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), opened the KUZA awards 2023. The CA Kuza Broadcasting Awards, is an initiative by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to recognize and fete excellence in broadcasting. This year was the sixth edition.
In his opening remarks, DG Chiloba was keen to highlight the progress the CA and the Kenyan broadcasters have made.
First, he spoke of how the Awards have grown since 2018. From having only 5 sub-categories, the awards had 19 sub-categories as of 2022. Further, public participation has grown. 260,000 voters participated in the last awards which saw 1.1 million votes recorded.
As regulatory body, the CA has a programming code for Radio and Television. The CA is keen to see broadcasting bodies adhere to the set code. DG Chiloba noted compliance has been improving. Additionally, broadcasters have taken up the challenge to promote the socio-economic development of the country.
In summary, the DG highlighted broadcasters are meeting the local content quota. There has been a marked improvement from 50% in 2017 to the current over 90%.
Secondly, broadcasters have complied with the PWDs sign language insert requirement. This was 70% in 2017 and is now at 100%.
Lastly, children’s’ programming has now reached 30%, up from a paltry 5% back in 2017.
DG Chiloba noted that continual stakeholder engagement has been rewarding and the continual improvement is evidence.
DG Chiloba Looks into the Future
Part of his speech acknowledged the rapidly changing broadcasting landscape. In line with the changes, the theme for this year’s KUZA awards was “Shaping the Future of Broadcasting: Towards a Creative Economy”.
“It is a fact that we cannot stop the present digital revolution, neither can we afford to be left behind. It is therefore my hope, that a platform such as what we have today, will form an avenue, to discuss the imperatives for the broadcasting industry to stay on top of this current technological disruption”: stated DG Ezra Chiloba
Looking into the future, the CA is developing a framework to introduce Digital Sound Broadcasting in Kenya. This is as a result of the growing demand for radio broadcasting services.
The Digital Sound Broadcast framework will ensure efficient utilization of the scarce broadcasting spectrum. The CA intends to have this operational within the next 3 years.