The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has called on all broadcasters to start applying for new licenses which will among other things require them to air 40 percent local content by June 2015.
According to the CA, media houses have been slow in increasing the broadcasting of local content due to lack of specific regulations which will now feature in the new license. Currently, only two television stations are providing above 40 percent local content with the majority at 30 percent and some only broadcasting up to eight per cent.
The authority will soon be announcing the deadline for the license but has maintained that there is no broadcaster with a license to broadcast at the moment, due to the lengthy court cases in the last two years which slowed down the execution of the new regulations.
“You know we have been in court with some of the broadcasters and that constrained us from going ahead to implement the required laws and regulations. Now that everything has been clarified we want broadcasters to come and take the licenses,” Wangusi said, adding that failure to meet the set targets may force CA to impose harsh penalties.
“Part of the license conditions is to compel broadcasters to reach the local content quarter because it’s a policy statement of the government that we should grow local content up to 60 percent by 2018,” said Mr Wangusi during a breakfast meeting with stakeholders, on local content development in Kenya.
In the enactment of the 40% local content regulation, broadcasters should ensure that; a production deals with issues unique and relevant to Kenyan audiences, 20 percent of production companies to be owned by Kenyans, filming to be done in Kenya, 50 percent of authors must be Kenyan or production to be under Kenyan creative and technical control.
In boosting local content, the government through CA targets to promote national and collective identity, promote development and skill of local talent, create a source of income for artistes, producers, broadcasters and protect the public against offensive content.