Unpacking the Creative Economy Support Bill, 2024

The “Creative Economy Support Bill, 2024,” championed by Senator Eddy Oketch, aims to provide the much-needed support and resources for our talented artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives. But is this a step in the right direction? Let us delve into the key aspects of the bill to understand its potential impact. Oh…and forgive me in advance, just like you, I have many questions as you shall see!

A Lifeline for Creatives: The Creatives Fund

Imagine a fund, supported by Parliament, dedicated to helping creatives bring their visions to life. This fund, overseen by the Cabinet Secretary, will offer grants to individuals based on clear and fair criteria. Could this be the financial boost our creatives have been waiting for, or will it be like other funds, promising on paper but barely going to the intended? We shall see!

Empowerment Through the Creative Industry Guild

The proposed Creative Industry Guild is proposed to not just be about protection, but also empowerment. It will champion artists’ rights, conduct essential labour market research, ensure intellectual property (IP) protection, and help distribute royalties fairly. Is this the comprehensive support system that our creatives need? Curious on how the music industry has been fairing with KAMP and PRISK, a good learning point for other creatives.

Government’s Role in Nurturing Creativity

Both national and county governments are mandated to create a nurturing environment. This includes policy formulation, infrastructure investment, and entrepreneurial training programs. Can the government rise to the occasion and provide the necessary support? What measures will be put in place to ensure this is done?

Addressing Intellectual Property (IP) Challenges…..

…….Because, that is what we do at Anza Village

A major highlight of the bill is its focus on IP rights,  a perennial issue for Kenyan creatives . However, several challenges need addressing:

  • Strengthening enforcement mechanisms to combat piracy and unauthorised use of creative works should be a priority, yet not an easy task.
  • Educating creatives about their IP rights and the registration process. This has long remained the missing link when it comes to protection of innovation and creative works. On this, check out the Innovator’s Guide Book to IPR Protection and Commercialisation in Kenya, done in partnership with Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA), British High Commission in Nairobi and British Council, who have done a tremendous job in supporting the creative economy.
  • Simplifying IP registration and providing financial support for creatives to protect their work. I must commend KECOBO for their role in ensuring online registration and conducting regular IP Clinics. Oh, and may I remind you that Anza Village and our Partners above have conducted several IP Clinics and will continue to do so, preaching the gospel of protecting and commercialising your innovation and creative works

Could these measures finally solve the IP woes of our creative industry? I think it’s a START!

Ensuring Effective Fund Management

For the Creatives Fund to truly make a difference, its management must be transparent and efficient:

  • Grants should be distributed based on merit and inclusivity.
  • For Accountability purposes, oversight mechanisms must be in place to ensure proper use of funds.
  • Continuous parliamentary support and private sector partnerships are vital for the fund’s longevity and sustainability.

Still takes me back to the same question, will these steps ensure that the funds reach those who need them most?

Overcoming Bureaucratic Challenges

Obviously, we want this Bill to work; to realise the bill’s potential, we must cut through bureaucratic red tape and ensure seamless cooperation between national and county governments. Streamlining administrative processes will be key to effective implementation. 

Integration with Talanta Hela

In the spirit of making this work, we pen one more suggestion. The Talanta Hela initiative, aimed at monetising talents and nurturing creative skills among young Kenyans, should be integrated with the Creative Economy Bill: Or maybe it’s part of it, in that case I stand guided. I have seen the potential impact that it has and well done, could really make the creative economy really do well.  Complementary areas include; 

  • Aligning Talanta Hela’s talent development with the financial support and infrastructure provisions of the bill.
  • Avoiding duplication of efforts through clear delineation of roles.
  • Leveraging Talanta Hela’s resources to support the broader objectives of the bill and vise versa.

As we conclude

The Creative Economy Support Bill, 2024, is definitely a positive for Kenya’s creatives. And we can keep it that way by addressing IP issues, ensuring transparent fund management, overcoming bureaucratic obstacles, and synergising with initiatives like Talanta Hela. 

Do not take my word for it, from your point of view, Is this bill the breakthrough our creative industry has been waiting for? We invite you to read the proposed bill and share your thoughts.

For those interested, the full text of the Creative Economy Support Bill, 2024, can be found Here.  We will be following this closely and encourage you to join the conversation. Public Participation is a crucial thing for the Regulatory process in Kenya.

By Wangechi Wahome


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