Netflix and Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, Innovation, and Youth Affairs have signed a two-year memorandum of understanding (MoU). The agreement is part of the Ministry’s efforts to strengthen the country’s creative industry and support the next generation of storytellers.
The MoU focuses on skills and capacity development, creative sector infrastructure development, marketing and media spend, digital consumer protection, and local content investment. It is the first of its kind for Netflix in Africa.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covers various joint initiatives that will be undertaken by Netflix and various local partners and is structured around the four pillars listed below:
Local content investment: As part of this MOU, Netflix has made an investment in three Kenyan co-productions, which are currently in various stages of production, and a number of licensed local titles are being reviewed by Netflix. The selected Kenyan titles will be revealed closer to their premiere dates on Netflix, where 222 million members from over 190 countries will be able to enjoy Kenyan storytelling and culture.
Human capital development: Netflix will commit to assisting with human capital development and institutional capacity building in order to improve Kenya’s digital content ecosystem. This commitment includes the Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund for Africa, which is managed by the HEVA Fund for East Africa.
Under the terms of the agreement, US $100,000 will be used to fund scholarships for 30 students, covering tuition, living expenses, learning materials, and a stipend, in support of Kenya Film School and the African Digital Media Institute. A further US$200,000 has been set aside for scholarships (which include tuition, housing, living expenses, learning materials, and a stipend) for aspiring creatives to attend other Kenyan institutions that offer film and television studies. In addition, aspiring Kenyan creatives can apply for a scholarship to study for a Masters in International Screenwriting and Production (MISP) at the University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.
Because skill development and training are important components of human capital development, Netflix will identify various opportunities for Netflix scholarship recipients, such as internships, job shadowing, on-set training, access to creative development labs, technical masterclasses, development executive access and mentorship programs, or a combination of different elements.
Marketing, media, and digital consumer protection: As part of its digital consumer protection efforts, Netflix will work with the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) to promote responsible digital parenting and appropriate viewing practices among online content consumers and Netflix members. The collaboration will include the distribution of online safety educational tools, joint digital parenting sensitization programs, and joint campaigns on age-appropriate online environments. Netflix will also work with Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) on its Child Online Protection (COP) campaign, which will launch in 2021. Netflix will collaborate with industry players convened by CA as part of the collaboration and contribute to the industry microsite on COP.
Additionally, Netflix will collaborate with the Kenya Film Commission and other stakeholders – to be determined by KFC – to provide institutional capacity building and technical support for the design, establishment, and rollout of a fit-for-purpose screen production sector incentive and the requisite frameworks for operationalizing the structure in Kenya. Netflix will also collaborate with KFC to identify areas for capacity development that will benefit the local creative ecosystem.