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CS Ababu Namwamba’s Bill to protect Kenyan creatives

By Winnie Mabel January 26th, 2023 2 min read

The Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, has announced that his Ministry is preparing a new legal framework to protect Kenyan creatives and the industry after admitting that it is a sector that has been largely neglected by the government in terms of legislation and policy formulation.

“We believe that the New Creatives Economy Bill has an all-encompassing legal frame work to manage this space. It’s going to add punch and impetus to the establishment of a much more robust film industry and the creative economy in general which goes beyond film. We’re talking about music, theatre, fashion and design, fine art, performing fine art. All that stuff is going to be consolidated under New Creative Economy Bill,” Namwamba said on Thursday.

He also added that this law would be clear and unequivocal in terms of local content in Kenya’s media outlets.

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Mr Namwamba’s announcement comes on the heels of Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja walking the same path in protecting Kenyans in the creative industry that are operating in Nairobi.

According to media reports in September 2022, Governor Sakaja ordered the laws that inhibit photography, videography, film and the creative industry in the city to be reviewed.

“When we say we want to be pro-business, it is not just passive to stop harassment of traders but we want to be proactive to facilitate and promote. There are many archaic laws including those that hamper creativity and innovation and we are going to weed those out,” Governor Sakaja said.

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He also dropped business permits imposed on freelance photographers and filmmakers operating within the city’s Central Business District; and the Sh5,000 a day fee required before one could film or photograph within the city limits.

The Daily Nation reported that Governor Sakaja said businesspeople should spend more time doing their business, and not chasing compliance issues with the authorities.

These changes came after creative complained of constant harassment by County Government Officer, popularly referred to as Kanji, who would arrest them and demand hefty bribes to secure their equipment and freedom.

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