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PS Kisiang’ani urges creative economy to leverage tech for jobs creation

The Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani, has urged the stakeholders in the creative economy to leverage technology and innovation to create more jobs and spur the nation’s economic growth.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Konza Technopolis Creative Economy Conference in Nairobi, PS Kisiang’ani noted that the government is working to streamline the creative sector for favourable tax regimes and financing policies.

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The PS said that the government will spend Ksh 15.1 billion in developing the digital superhighway in a bid to position Kenya as a unique creative economy hub destination.

He also said that they are seeking financial support from the private sector to further develop the creative as the private sector seeks to leverage government facilities such as the digital superhighway and the Konza Technopolis Data Centre.

“The government is ready to support the creative economy so that it can create more jobs at individual and institutional level. This sector presents a positive opportunity for more job opportunities for Kenyans because we don’t have capacity in government to give everybody a job,” said PS Kisiang’ani.

“At the moment, we are looking at the tax regimes with a view to optimise and streamlined. We would like the creative to be promoted and bot to be punished by some of these tax regimes. We are also looking at the legal issues to ensure checks and balances in the sector to avoid infringement on privacy while advancing the creative economy,” added the PS.

The PS noted that they are looking at the possibility of giving upcoming creatives more support such as data storage and financial support from private partners.

On his end, John Paul Okwiri, Ag. CEO Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) noted that they are supporting creative startups at the National Tier III data centre with one-year free hosting in view of building a sustainable media city project.

He said: “You will realise that the youth are asking for opportunities. With our state-of-the-art data centre, we are providing an opportunity for the youth in the creative economy with storage. For all the startups, we are providing one year of hosting and that’s why we are convening this conference so that we can showcase the opportunities.”

He noted that KoTDA is in the process of developing the Digital Media City which will focus on developing a media hub at Konza Technopolis.

The Konza Digital Media City is envisioned to provide an ecosystem that promotes training, research and innovation in the digital media and entertainment industries in Kenya and the African region.

During the event, Roy Gitahi, Founder and CEO of Art at Work Limited stressed the need to strengthen the partnerships and collaborations in the creative sector for more opportunities.

“What we found at Konza (National data centre) is something the private sector cannot build easily. But is it important because all this content can be placed at the centre and we can explore avenues of monetizing the data. This is something that the private and public sector must partner to drive,” he said.

The conference was also attended by Timothy Owase, CEO, Kenya Film Commission, Joel Omalwa, Ag. CEO, Kenya Film Classification Board and Wesley Maritim, Director Administration, State Department of ICT.

The conference, which was supported by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), Under Our Skin, Decimal Media, Wabuuni Sacco, Art At Work and Thunderbird School of Global Management seeks to identify strategic interventions which address the players who will enable the monetization of the creative economy through digital superhighway, specifically the role of Konza Technopolis and its partners in supporting a vibrant creative economy in the Country.

 

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