As part of our efforts to create regional and global networks, the Kenya Film Classification Board(KFCB) will this morning send a high-powered delegation to South Africa for a one week exchange programme. The delegation will share experiences and ideas on film and broadcast content regulation.
Led by the Board Chairman Bishop Jackson Koskei and the CEO Ezekiel Mutua, the KFCB delegation will hold discussions with the Film and Publications Board of South Africa on the possibility of establishing a uniform child online content classification framework.
The exchange programme follows the signing of an MOU between KFCB and the Film and Publications Board of South Africa early this year, and will seek to create collaboration with the SADC block on film related matters.
During the one week mission, KFCB Directors will hold crucial meetings with the Ministry of Communications of South Africa, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), SA Communications Forum, UNISA, MultiChoice, Child Welfare, Google, Unesco, UNICEF, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, the Press Council of SA, among other key institutions.
KFCB will also attend a film festival in Durban courtesy of the host – the Film and Publications Board(FPB).
The tour will provide critical insights into online content regulation, online tracing of illegal and harmful content including child pornography, appeal procedures on classification decisions and online content distribution.
The trip comes at a critical time when the Board is embarking on a review of the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya to align it to the Constitution and enhance the efficiency of the Board by addressing new technologies and media convergence.
New content distribution platforms such as the Over the Top Services (OTTs) also inform the Board’s desire to gain more expertise as well as strengthening its regulatory framework to address the new technology dynamics and challenges.
The tour also comes at a time when the Board’s mandate has been expanded to include new roles such as Film Licensing and the enforcement of the Programming Code for Free-to-Air radio and television stations in Kenya.
Emergent moral challenges associated with exposure of children to violent content, crime and immitable behaviour such as Project X and other wild parties, glamorising of drug abuse and alcoholic substances through advertising, the betting and gambling craze promoted through the media as well as the misuse of social media to propagate hate speech are among the challenges the Board is trying to address.
We hope that this tour will enrich our regulatory processes and improve the efficiency of the Board to restore the nation’s moral values through film and broadcast content regulation.
Meanwhile ten officers of the technical departments namely Film Monitoring and Classification will also undergo a one-week hands-on classification training in Pretoria from next week courtesy of FPB.