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Kenya: Training programme for musicians and visual artists

In recent years, Kenya has been implementing major changes to provide all its citizens with a high quality of life, consolidating on the benefits of a successful national economic recovery strategy. Amongst these measures, a strong focus has been put on strengthening the culture sector and taking advantage of its potential for social and economic development, and 2008 saw the establishment of both a Ministry and national policy for Culture and Heritage. Since, numerous infrastructures and institutions have been developed, leading to varied training and awareness-raising activities, exhibitions and festivals.

Aim of the mission
This technical assistance mission will consequently help Kenya build on these efforts through the development of a training programme to help musicians and visual artists acquire the necessary skills to develop marketing strategies for their goods and services.

© Kenyan Department of Culture

With a particular emphasis on the use of information and communication technologies, this programme will reinforce the sustainability and competitiveness of Kenyan cultural industries and their produce, aiming to increase their position on national, regional and international markets.

Mr Lloyd Standbury (Jamaica) and Mr Mike Van Graan (South Africa) thus provided Kenya with their recognised international expertise in the music and visual arts sectors and in cultural-industry development. They helped devise a training programme and materials to carry out capacity-building activities for local trainers from all 8 regions of Kenya, who will then carry out further training activities for local musicians and artists. The consequent reinforcement of Kenya's cultural industries will increase their contribution to national GDP, growth and employment, leading to a sustainable and participatory approach to poverty reduction across the country.

Activities undertaken
During their first visit in September 2012, the experts carried out a thorough assessment of the current practices and opportunities in the country. They participated in a series of preparatory meetings with the national team, as well as consulted a large number of local stakeholders, including the Kenya Copyright Board, Kenya ICT Board, many civil society organisations and an IBM task group that had undertaken research on Kenya’s creative sector. They also met a number of local artists and visited music and performing arts venues. This enabled the design and organisation of the training programme for local trainers, and its tailoring to the specificities of Kenya culture sector.

This preparatory work enabled the second visit in October 2012 to focus on training activities at the Kenya Institute of Education and the Computer Laboratory of the Kenya ICT Board. Each expert undertook specific training activities corresponding to their own areas of expertise. The group of local trainers was consequently divided into two groups, one focusing on the specificities of developing the music sector, another on those of the performing arts. The training programme consisted of four core themes: 1) awareness of cultural policies and 2005 convention; 2) general marketing knowledge; 3) training in ICTs; and 4) copyright issues and creative enterprise building.

The local trainers who participated in the training workshops will now disseminate the knowledge they acquired throughout the country, sharing expertise on marketing and the use of ICTS with artists in all 8 of Kenya's regions. The mission also led to the elaboration of a set of recommendations to improve the culture sector in Kenya, which will be taken further by a purposely constituted working group. Finally, the local trainers built on the ties they made during the time they spent together during the training workshop, forming a network.

Follow-up activities
Following the technical assistance mission undertaken in 2012, capacity-building workshops for trainers in the field of music and visual arts in the eight regions of the country were held in November and December 2012 by the Department of Culture of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts.
In addition, regional and national visual arts exhibitions were held during the same period by the Department.


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