The First Lady of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto, held a consultative meeting with 36 pioneer Kenyan musicians at State House on Tuesday.
The meeting was aimed at understanding the challenges facing the music industry and finding ways to help establish it as a stable economic pillar.
Mama Rachel Ruto, through the Talent Expression division of Mama Doing Good, outlined plans to organise four national music conferences and conduct 47 music talent forums, one in each county, over the next four years.
She said that these events would provide a platform for musicians to network, share ideas, and learn about the latest trends in the music industry.
The First Lady also congratulated the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) on the steps it has taken to make the music industry a major contributor to the Kenyan economy. She said that MCSK had done a good job of protecting the rights of musicians and collecting royalties on their behalf.
Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, the CEO of MCSK, commended the meeting with the pioneer gospel musicians for recognising the men and women in Kenya’s music industry who have laid the foundation for authentic music.
He said that MCSK was committed to working with the government to ensure that the music industry continues to grow and thrive.
MCSK is currently in the final stages of negotiating an increase in the commission earned by content developers from YouTube from 1.7% to 16.5%. In addition, the implementation of the Blank Tape Levy by the Kenya Copyright Board is estimated to generate over six billion shillings annually.
This levy is imposed on blank recording media. It is intended to compensate copyright owners for private, non-commercial copying of blank media such as DVDs, flash disks, and memory cards.
The meeting with the pioneer Kenyan musicians was a positive step towards the development of the music industry in Kenya. It is clear that the government and MCSK are committed to working together to make the music industry a major contributor to the Kenyan economy.