MKU Launches Talent Academy. A Boost to Creative Economy.


Kenya’s creative economy has received a major boost after Mount Kenya University (MKU) opened a talent academy much to the relief of the many talented students in film, music and drama.

The Cape Media Talent Academy, a partnership between Cape Media group and MKU seeks to help university students hone their skills in content creation. The university will provide the academy with creative content developed by the students allowing those talented to be engaged by the academy in various aspects.

MKU Vice Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi told students talented in arts to take advantage of the academy to beat joblessness which he attributed to skill mismatch and lack of innovative and creative aspects.

“In a world where the creative arts industry has gained lots of interest, students need to become innovative and creative to exploit that space,” said the VC during the launch yesterday.

The Kenya Film Classification Board acting CEO Pascal Opiyo, while launching the academy said the initiative will help address skill mismatch that has been a hindrance for young people pursuing creative economy careers.

He said the Creative Economy, comprising film, advertising, broadcast and visual arts, ranks among the world’s most rapidly growing sectors, contributing 3% to the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“According to statistics published by UNESCO in 2023, the creative economy has created more than 30 million jobs for workers aged 18-25 more than any other field of employment across the world,” he said.

He added that the country’s 2019 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates that the Kenyan film and broadcast industry directly employed 129,824 people in 2019, or about 4.5 percent of the country’s total employed workforce. In the same period, it is estimated that the Kenyan film and audiovisual sectors contributed Sh15 billion to the country’s GDP.

A report published by PWC Africa titled: Africa and Entertainment Outlook 2023-2026, projects that Kenya’s broadcast and entertainment industry will improve in the next three years with an estimated monetary value of 900 million USD by 2026.  “It is in the above context that the Government is convinced that the Creative Economy has the potential to transform Kenya’s fortunes and improve the livelihoods of our youth through job creation and income generation,” the accountant said.

In a speech read on his behalf by Nelly Muluka, the board’s Corporate Communication Manager, Opiyo said the objectives of the Talent Academy resonate with the government’s Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) and the Talanta Hela Initiative.

“This is an opportunity to create job opportunities given the shrinking white collar jobs space and should be embraced by both the public and private stakeholders to empower the young generation,” he said.

He at the same time called on content creators and local broadcasters to take advantage of the expanded airwaves to produce more local content and ensure that the same is examined by the KFCB for age appropriateness.

MKU Pro-chancellor, Dr Vincent Gaitho noted that the CBC as introduced in Kenya provides the Kenyan child with an option of academic engagement in creative arts as an option of career engagement.

Also Read: Surge in demand for private university places.

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