Ministry of ICT & Netflix have signed an MOU in a bid  to support Kenyan creatives

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs has signed an MOU with  Netflix  in a bid  to support Kenyan creatives through various initiatives.

The partnership will focus on skills & capacity development, creative sector infrastructure development, marketing and media spend, digital consumer protection and local content investment.

The specifics of the partnership are:

1. Local content investment

Netflix has invested in 3 Kenyan co-productions which are currently in various stages of production while a number of licensed local titles are being reviewed by Netflix. The selected Kenyan titles will be revealed at a later date closer to their premier dates on Netflix.

2. Human Capital development

Netflix has committed to support 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. Under the MOU, Ksh. 11 million (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.

A further Ksh. 23 million (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 identify various opportunities which may include further career development via internships, job shadowing, on-set training, access to creative development labs, technical masterclasses, development executive access and mentorship programs, or a combination of different elements for Netflix scholarship beneficiaries.

3. Marketing, media & digital consumer protection

Netflix will collaborate with Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) to promote responsible digital parenting and appropriate viewing practices for consumers of online content and Netflix customers. This will include the rollout of educational tools on online safety, joint sensitization programs on digital parenting and joint campaigns on age-appropriate online environments. Netflix will also collaborate with 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.

4. Creative sector infrastructure development

Netflix will collaborate with the Kenya Film Commission (KFC) to provide 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. Netflix will also partner with the KFC to identify capacity development areas that would benefit the local creative ecosystem.

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Mr Joe Mucheru, said, “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.”

Netflix’s Director of Series in Africa , Dorothy Ghettuba, said, “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.