The Communications Authority of Kenya today launched the 4th edition of Kuza Awards. Speaking during the event, Mercy Wanjau, Ag. Director-General of CA, stated that Kuza would be awarding broadcasters who “demonstrate excellence in line with regulatory requirements” set out by the body. “This will acknowledge broadcasters who promote patriotism, Kenyan culture and values. Those who have made a contribution towards national unity and cohesion,” she said.
Three new categories have been added this year.
The Patriotic Award to celebrate broadcasters who have demonstrated patriotism, and made a positive impact in implementing the authorities and government directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
The Upcoming Broadcaster Award which promotes compliance and adherence to regulatory requirements for new broadcasters who have been in operation within the last 3 years, and
The Copyright Award which recognises broadcasters who are in compliance with copyright and intellectual property regulatory requirements.
The latter is particularly significant. If broadcasters are not in compliance with copyright obligations, they will no longer be issued the annual compliance certificate starting this financial year and going into the future. “Without this certificate, it will be difficult to do business with government entities,” Wanjau clarifies.
In the same breath, CA also kicked off the People’s Choice Award. It not only allows the public to participate, but they also get to pick their favourite broadcaster. This will take into account audience and feedback. Voting will be done via a toll-free mobile code 15601.
The 2021 theme is Preserving Our CulturalHeritage ThroughBroadcasting – Kenya, A Heritage of Splendour.
Last year’s money, earmarked for what would have been the 4th edition, says Wanjau, was channelled towards supporting local content initiatives in the broadcast media industry. “This support is in line with our mandate to facilitate and encourage the development of Kenyan programmes and is being executed in partnership with the Kenya Film Commission (KFC). It is in line with the mandate to facilitate the growth of Kenyan content.” Not only has the mandate of 40 per cent local content critical. The pandemic has demonstrated that broadcasting services should be accessible to all, and have a lasting impact on the public. Research shows that 95 per cent of the Kenyan population has a high awareness of the pandemic thanks to TV and radio.
She continues, “Broadcasting remains a powerful medium for influencing culture disseminator of culture and that is why it is desirable that it reflects our national values, culture, aspirations, and hopes and dreams as Kenyans and promote national unity and cohesion. Radio and TV play a big role in portraying and influencing culture. It is therefore essential that our differences and diversity are celebrated and showcased as something to be very proud of.