Govt demands local film content

November 19, 2008

, NAIROBI, November 19 – The government has called on stakeholders in the film industry to invest more in local content as a way of reducing unemployment and boosting the economy of the country.

Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo said on Wednesday that such investments would preserve the cultural heritage of the country.

He further urged film producers to focus more on low cost productions while tapping local talent especially from youths.

“We can create so many jobs across the country because we have the talent throughout the country.  We have been seeing competitions in schools and those children can be absorbed into employment,” Mr Ndemo pointed out.

The PS was speaking during a stakeholders meeting where he outlined some incentives by the government to boost the film industry.

“The government has recognised this, and that is why they have come up with incentives by removing taxes on cameras,” the permanent secretary said.

He further stressed the need of undertaking joint programmes with foreign companies.

“There are some things that we call co-production arrangements with foreign companies, we might also give direct monetary incentives through the ICT board,” he said.

The film industry in Kenya has been identified as a key growth industry with great potential to spur economic growth through tourist attraction and investment.  Currently, it generates over Sh1.2 billion annually.

When operating at optimal levels, the film industry can generate over Sh40 billion and create more than 250, 000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Film Commission chief David Maingi has announced a proposed Kenya Film incentive aimed to boost film production in the country.

The proposed film incentive which among other things include low taxes and discounted rates has got five pillars.  They are local industry and content development , large film and television film incentive, film infrastructure development and increased funding for the Kenya Film Commission.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the proposal will seek to introduce a competitive incentive scheme for film and TV production.

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