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Form associations to benefit from creative economy-Artists

The State Department for Youth Affairs and the Arts Principal Secretary (PS), Ismail Madey, has challenged artists in the creative economy to establish structures in order to reap maximum benefits.

Participants keenly listening to keynote addresses Thursday at the Swahilipot Hub amphitheater. Photo by Andrew Hinga

The PS said the creative economy is largely disorganised compared to other sectors like sports, which have well-established structures.

“We are fond of saying this economy generates a certain percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our nation, which if we ask the sector leaders how that is arrived at, nobody can explain. It’s something that is hypothetical—a theory that has not been measured,” said PS Madey.

The government, he added, is encouraging various stakeholders in the creative economy to join associations and form formidable structures to speak as forums and get support from the government.

“For musicians, the government is engaging the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) to make sure they put up proper infrastructure and digitise their way of collecting royalties for the musicians so that they can benefit from their work,” he said, adding that the Kenya Film and Classification Board will come up with a mechanism to facilitate the airing of local films.

The government has standardised compensation for artists, and artists performing in various state events are now paid using approved rates by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

“I call on all artists to unite and join associations where they can speak with one voice on this crucial matter of compensation. I also dare you not to accept anything less than what has been approved by the SRC,” urged the PS.

Speaking at the Pwani Innovation Week at Swahilipot Hub today, the PS urged youths to challenge the status quo and bring forth innovations that will stimulate the economy.

“While innovation is important, alone, it is not enough,” he said. “Sustainability is the key to ensuring that the Orange Economy continues to flourish for generations to come”.

Innovators were advised to be mindful of the environmental and social impacts of their creatives to protect the planet as they empower communities.

“It thus behoves us to embrace sustainable practices, from eco-friendly production processes to fair compensation for artists and creators,” said PS Madey.

The government has dedicated this year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations to exploring opportunities in the creative industry for the youth.

The State Department for Youth Affairs has lined up the Africa Youth Connekt Summit 2023 to address continental youth opportunities at a summit expected to be graced by 20,000 youth and several local and international leaders.

PS Madey encouraged youths to visit government websites to get information on the various youth-tailored programmes instead of assuming there is bureaucracy.

On his part, PS Transport Mohamed Daghar said youths are the frontiers in spearheading innovations, and the government has prioritised innovation in various sectors, working with partners.

By Sadik Hassan

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