IBM Presents Proposed Roadmap in Support of Creative Industries in Kenya to Drive Economic Growth

Recommendations stem from plan by pro bono IBM Corporate Service Corps team

Nairobi, Kenya - 26 Sep 2012: A team of IBM (NYSE: IBM) experts today presented a proposed roadmap to the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications to help grow the economic sector through job opportunities in new media and the creative arts industry.

CSC Kenya Team

A student at Multimedia University in Nairobi, Kenya interviews an IBM CSC team member during their recent pro bono engagement in support of the Creative Industry.(Credit: IBM) 

If implemented, the roadmap could help enable the creative industry to double its GDP contribution and increase employment within the sector by up to 10 percent over five years; making Kenya a creative hub for East Africa by 2017.

The 13-person IBM team making today's recommendation, made up of individuals from four countries, was part of IBM's Corporate Service Corps, which sends groups of experts to provide pro bono assistance to non-governmental, local government and small business groups in growth markets on matters that intersect business, technology and society.  

The IBM team presented its analysis after spending 30 days on in-depth consultation with public and private organizations that could potentially have a role in fostering an industry reliant on artistic creativity.  After analysing the input, IBM recommended the formation of a Centre of Excellence drawn from the private and public sectors in Kenya that would recommend or formulate policies to define, promote and stimulate growth.

IBM suggested that such a body would have a greater chance of success if national efforts were redoubled to promote intellectual property rights, reduce bureaucracy, adopt new technologies, re-introduce creativity and skills-based talent in school curricula, build partnerships, and foster stronger general business and marketing skills.  While Kenya already boasts thriving businesses in some aspects of the visual arts, such as new media publishing, there is room for strong growth in such areas as the performing arts and crafts sector.

“It is critical that these challenges are addressed in a timely manner to ensure that the creative industry realises its full potential in achieving the 2017 growth targets in line with Kenya’s midterm development plan for 2013 – 2017," said Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Information and Communications. “This initiative by the IBM experts will assist us in achieving our long and mid term goals under Vision 2030 of employment creation and increasing the ratio exports to the national GDP.”

Some IBM team members also worked with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the MultiMedia University. For KEPSA, IBM developed a framework and messaging to make the organisation even more essential to its membership and to the country's Vision 2030 economic development plan. 
With the MultiMedia University, the IBM team developed a blueprint for partnerships and fundraising, differentiation through of technologies that make it easier to collaborate, and the development of a curriculum that includes courses in information technology, entrepreneurialism and multimedia.

The projects were coordinated with the Kenya ICT Board and the Digital Opportunity Trust.

“We at IBM are pleased to support the Kenyan Government in achieving its critical development goals particularly around intensification of innovation in priority sectors,” said IBM Country General Manager, Tony Mwai.

IBM's Corporate Service Corps is a global IBM initiative designed to spur economic growth by providing problem solving assistance to educational institutions, non governmental organizations, and governmental institutions and government in over 30 countries in growth markets, giving them access to sophisticated business consulting and skills development to help improve local conditions and foster job creation. Via the corporate service corps, IBM deploys teams of top employees from around the world, sending them to growth markets for a period of one month.  Team members, who are among IBM’s top talent, have skills including information technology, research, marketing, finance, consulting, human resources and law.

Since the launch of the Corporate Service Corps in 2008, over 2,000 IBM employees based in 50 countries have been dispatched on more than 200 team assignments in 30 countries.  Africa is a significant focus for IBM's innovative community service programs. Since 2008, IBM's Corporate Service Corps has deployed more than 500 IBM employees on 50 teams to South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt.

Follow IBM's Corporate Service Corps on the CitizenIBM blog at and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM.

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A student at Multimedia University in Nairobi, Kenya interviews an IBM CSC team member during their recent pro bono engagement in support of the Creative Industry. (Credit: IBM)

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