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ICT-Netflix agree to promote next generation of storytellers

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs and Netflix have signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly deliver efforts to strengthen the country’s creative industry and support the development of the next generation of storytellers.

The scope of cooperation under the MoU – which is the first of its kind for Netflix in Africa will focus on skills and capacity development, creative sector infrastructure development, marketing and media spend, digital consumer protection and local content investment.

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Mr Joe Mucheru (right) and Netflix Director of Public Policy SSA, Shola Sanni (left) during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on Wednesday. Photo by Catherine Muindi

The MOU covers various joint initiatives that will be undertaken by Netflix and various local partners and is structured around the following four pillars including, Local content investment, Human capital development, Marketing Media and digital consumer protection and Creative sector infrastructure development.

Launching the partnership on Wednesday in a Nairobi hotel, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Joe Mucheru, said the MoU will not only facilitate job creation in the country but also unlock training opportunities for screen sector development.

“ICT Infrastructure in the country has improved thus presenting a good business environment for OTT platforms such as Netflix. 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,” said Mucheru.

On her part, Director of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa at Netflix Ms. Shola Sanni, said the organisation seeks to contribute meaningfully to the key socio-economic priorities of the Kenyan Government.

“We are cognizant that there are positive socio-economic outputs generated by our service in the countries where we invest. This MoU will play a major role in harnessing these positive externalities driving impact beyond direct investment in local content only, to measurable inputs in other crucial aspects of the screen production value chain – such as human and institutional capacity development,” Sanni said.

Speaking about the initiatives planned, 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.”

The Kenyan Film Commission Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Timothy Owase, said that the partnership presents opportunities to collaborate in order to amplify the place of Kenya’s film industry on the global stage.

“Thank you to our Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru and our PS Esther Koimett for their continued commitment to the growth of the film industry and thank you to the Netflix team for choosing to invest in the Kenyan film sector. This partnership will see us continue on our journey in the development of a vibrant Film and TV industry that reflects Kenyan identity, character and cultural diversity and will help the Film Industry to be appreciated further for its potential to contribute significantly to the Kenyan economy,” said Owase.

By Catherine Muindi

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