Sh312m for local content

November 14, 2008
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, NAIROBI, November 14 – The Kenya ICT Board says it will invest Sh312 million to support content development in the country.

The Board’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Kukubo said on Friday that part of this grant would fund government related content development and the other private sector applications.

“Government-related content will be financed through a Sh195 million facility, while private sector applications will be financed up to Sh117 million.” Mr Kukubo said.

He said grant applications will be invited through press advertisements.

He said the facility will target development of at least 15 new applications for the private sector where the grant will cover the expenses for service and content development, licensing fees, advocacy and awareness and building campaigns.

The ICT Board had hosted a forum to discuss the Local Content Development Program that is geared towards stimulating the development of local content for both the Kenyan and global market.

“There is a debate on whether content is local because a Kenyan developed it in Kenya; whether content is local because its done in Kenya; or whether content is local because its created for Kenya. All the ICT Board and the government are interested in is creating jobs,” Mr Kukubo noted.

The entire government facility will be managed by the Board and a grants committee has already been appointed with the overall responsibility of approving the grant applications based on the prior review by an independent consultant.

During the conference, the issue of regulation emerged as the biggest area of concern in the development of local content for the web.

Capital Group General Manager Cyrus Kamau called on the government to ensure that all players in the industry are well regulated.

“It should be a demand just like the way we are given frequencies and other licenses as old media, that even the new media need such form of legislation to make it better,” Kamau observed.

Mr Kamau said he hoped that the transition from traditional to new media will encompass the challenges that come with globalisation

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