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French government injects Ksh.168M into Kenyan creative industries

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L - R: HEVA Fund's Director of Grants & Inclusion Dr. Akati Khasiani, French Cultural Centre Cultural Affairs Director Harsita Waters, Alliance Francaise Nairobi Director Charles Courdent, Kenya Cultural Centre CEO Michael Pundo, Joy Mukami from the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports & Creative Economy and Michael Masheti from the Kenya Film Commission during the unveiling of the Creation Africa programme at the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday 7th May 2024.

The Kenyan creative industry has received a boost with the provision of Ksh. 168 million in funding from the Government of France.

While speaking during an event held at the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday 7th May 2024, Kenya Cultural Centre Chief Executive Officer Michael Pundo said the funds will be instrumental in enabling artists to meet the costs of producing creative works and enabling the upgrading of infrastructure across the country.

“There is a big deficit of live performance spaces outside Nairobi,” said Pundo. “The government has a plan for the improvement and rehabilitation of the existing facilities but funding has been lacking.”

Among the projects that have been supported through the programme which is aligned to the Kenyan government’s Talanta Hela Initiative include digitization of the Fort Jesus Museum in Mombasa which will be implemented in partnership with French company ICONEM.

Five other spaces in Mombasa, Lamu, Nakuru, Kisumu and Nairobi counties have also been equipped to host cultural showcases under the initiative.

The programme has also facilitated professional development for creatives through delivery of training and technical support for animators, video game developers, e-sports promoters and comic creators.

Additionally, the French Embassy enabled practitioners in these creative disciplines to participate in various networking events held between Kenya and Europe in 2023 under the programme.

Through a collaboration with HEVA Fund, the programme will provide logistical support to 11 Kenyan performance artists including musicians, stand-up comedians, actors, poets and dancers who will embark on a nationwide tour to showcase their creations to audiences across the country.

“This grant represents our dedication to fostering artistic excellence and ensuring that performance art and cultural work continues to thrive,” said HEVA’s Director of Grants & Inclusion, Dr. Akati Khasiani. “We look forward to seeing how their projects unfold and the impact they will have on our communities.”

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