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Committee pledges Studio Mashinani, innovation hubs revamp

The Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation has challenged implementers of Studio Mashinani to continue finding new ways to tap into the incredible talents displayed by Kenyans through the project.

Speaking during an inspection tour at studio Mashinani offices in Mombasa Sauti house, the committee Chairman John Kiarie said that the project is doing extremely well by providing recording services to needy artists.

Kiarie said that so far nine studios have been set up around the country adding that the government also aims at building 1,450 constituency innovation hubs to complement the project, with plans underway to expand the project to all counties to reach as many youths as possible.

“We are here as a committee to establish the efficacy of Studio Mashinani Project, a project instituted by the government to ensure there are studios around the country aimed at developing talents especially the audio-visual performance talents,” he said.

A section of members of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation during a tour and inspection of Studio Mashinani at Sauti House, Mombasa. Photo by Andrew Hinga

He added that Studio Mashinani aimed at taking recording studios within the reach of communities at grassroots level where the majority of talented youth reside.

The Dagoreti South Member of Parliament said that the committee is interested to see how well the studios are working so that they can advise the Parliament on budgeting of other upcoming projects.

“We want to see how well the studios that are already established are performing, how they are succeeding, if there are any challenges and if possible we remedy where we can,” he said.

He said they are working to have the digital content services undertaken in one ministry to ensure the government does not spread its resources too thin.

Through the Ajira platform, he noted, youth are able to register into studio Mashinani and get recorded adding: “We have seen the quality of recording being of extremely good quality thus intend to include all the digital projects and decentralize the studio Mashinani to constituencies,”.

The legislators added that efforts put in by the government in investing in the digital economy are paying off, noting in the creative sector, there are great opportunities in the talent development side, growing of audio-visual and performing talents and business processing outsourcing, among others.

“We are seeing in the “Jitume” centers that we have set up the learners under the digital literacy skills and they are quickly moving from learners to earners. This is a sector that can offer great opportunities for employment at a time when young people are desperate for meaningful engagement,” said Kiarie.

Vice-chairman of the committee Alfah Meruka said that the studios are a success as they have brought services closer to the common people at the lower level.

MP Osogo Joyce said as a committee they are keen in ensuring that the programme implementation is realized stressing there was a need to ensure the studios are innovative and as well do value addition on the productions.

She noted that since the target group is youth, there should be a lot of advocacy, capacity building and awareness saying implementers need not only do emphasis on budgetary allocation but also on innovations done so that more youth are brought on board.

“The aim is to reach the people at the grassroots level and as a committee, we were very committed when the budget cycle was being done. All the areas which were requested for this department we did our bit,” she said.

By Chari Suche

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