Kenya signs a Ksh38 Bn Financing Agreement with Korea for the development of Konza Digital Media City

Kenya has signed a Ksh38 billion ($284.1 million) financial agreement with Korea for the construction of a state-of-  the-art Digital Media City at Konza Technopolis.

The Konza Digital Media City (DMC) project is designed to position Kenya as a creative and content industry leader in Africa by providing a state-of-the-art facility to promote the emerging creative sector. This is expected to unlock the potential opportunities available. Last year, Kenya’s creative industry is estimated to have recorded over $2 billion in total sales and is projected to grow annually at 10.3 percent.


“We are happy to note that this financing agreement will lead to the realisation of our dream to develop the Africa’s Silicon Savannah and secure its place in the fast-evolving creative sector. The Creative sector in digital era presents a great opportunity for Kenyan creatives to scale their talent and creative skills to the world map.” Eng. John Tanui, the Principal Secretary for Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy said during the signing ceremony.


The Konza Digital Media City, to be established on  160 acre parcel of land aims to develop a top tier digital media hub by establishing both the critical infrastructure and programs needed to unlock the opportunity that the creative sector in a digital economy presents. The facility will host, among others, multi-media training institutes, digital media enterprises, postproduction studios (gaming and animation), and music production, among other digital media content.


Additionally, the Konza Digital Media City will offer professional level skilling and commercial services in gaming, animation, filming, photography, and entertainment and software development. It will also host film studios, broadcasting stations, and innovators incorporating latest cutting edge research,  training, propagation of new technologies, innovation,    production      of digital media content and entertainment facilities.


Kenya with a burgeoning youthful population is targeting the creative and digital economy for job creation and employment. Once completed the DMC is expected to create an average of 5,000 new jobs annually. This Facility will have linkages to digital hubs initiative that seeks to develop 1450 digital hubs developing the most robust ecosystem supporting creatives in the country.


According to the Communication Authority of Kenya, there are over 130 Free to Air (FTA) television stations and close to 200 radio stations. These boom in broadcasting sector has witnessed a steady rise in the demand for local content. The need to create local content has been boosted by the Communication Authority pegging local content at minimum of 40 percent.


Building on the vibrant creative sector in the country that has grown to be recognised among the most vibrant ecosystems in Africa, the establishment of the Konza DMC will usher the next level investments in the creatives industry in Kenya and will spur job creation, content monetization and will enable Kenya take part in the development of technology to lead creation of Content from Kenya to the world.


“Konza Digital Media City is envisioned to provide a one stop ecosystem that will allow for content creation and development in hence linking the creative industry to the media outlet,” John Paul Okwiri, the Chief Executive Officer of Konza Technopolis said. We are excited that this project has been made possible with support of Key government   agencies   such   as   Kenya   institute of mass communications, Kenya Film Commission, Kenya broadcasting corporation among other key private sector players.


The signing of the financing agreement comes at a time Kenya is pursuing global partnerships with established media industry players. During the recent state visit by President William Samoei Ruto to the United States of America, he visited the Tyler Perry Studios, one of the biggest creative content creation facilities.


“The opportunity ahead is immense, Africa has barely scratched the opportunity in content and media, and as we begin this exciting journey. We are keen to establish partnerships at the very start of this next level milestone, Konza DMC is designed to facilitate the creation, adaptation, and application of creative knowledge by providing state of the art facilities, infrastructures and incentives required for facilitating growth of creative industries and encourage development of local talents. To realise the vision, we will work collaboratively with private sector players,” Eng. Tanui said.


The financing agreement of the Konza Digital Media City is part of the Korea Knowledge sharing and Economic Investment Partnership Program (EIPP) between Kenya and South Korea. The project will be financed through the Korea Exim bank under a cooperation model framework that finances infrastructure and urban development related projects.


Under the EIPP, Korea has supported the establishment of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Ke-AIST), a post graduate University for science and technology.


Additionally, under the cooperation agreement. Konza Technopolis has worked with Korea expert teams to develop project concepts for the establishment of strategic projects aimed to develop Konza as a science park, innovation hub and smart city with international best standards.


“The financing of the Konza Digital Media City is further testament to our resolve to support Kenya move forward into the 4th industrial revolution,” Hwang Kiyeon, Executive Director of Exim Bank said.

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