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Kenya offers tax incentives to US film producers

L-R: Invention Studios President Nicholas Weinstock, CS Youth Affairs, Creative Economy & Sports Ababu Namwamba, Principal Secretary for Youth & Creative Economy Ismail Maalim Madey & Kenya Film Commission CEO Timothy Owase during a media briefing held at Talanta Plaza, Nairobi on Tuesday 13th Febrary 2024.

The Kenyan government has stepped up efforts to position Kenya as a preferred destination for Hollywood film producers.

On Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Youth Affairs and Creative Economy Ababu Namwamba hosted a series of meetings between executives from US based invention Studios and Kenya film sector stakeholders in Nairobi where he outlined the measures the Ministry has taken to stimulate partnerships among film creators in the respective countries.

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“We have developed an incentive framework aimed at mobilizing investments in the film
sector which is a key component of the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda”, said
CS Namwamba.

“Our historic partnership with Invention Studios will provide finance, deliver training and exchange programmes for elite filmmakers in Kenya and the United States,” noted Namwamba.

Cabinet Secretary Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports Ababu Namwamba

The partnership will see the Government of Kenya provide tax rebates and facilitate the
movement of personnel and equipment for the development of 5 Kenyan films that will be
produced and distributed by the Hollywood-based Invention Studios in an initiative that has also been supported by the United States Embassy in Kenya.

Foreign filmmakers are however required to utilise the services of registered film agents in
order to shoot productions in Kenya.

According to a recent study conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the Kenya Film Commission (KFC), an average of 746 films are produced in the country every year with more than 35,000 direct and indirect jobs created through film related activities annually.

As at 2022, Ksh. 50 billion worth of related goods and services were imported into the country whereas exports during the same period amounted to less than Ksh. 2 billion.


Boniface Mwalii
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