Copyright News
By. Cyrus Kinyungu
s the Kenyan economy con-
tinues to develop, the role
Intellectual Property plays in
the creative sector towards
this growth cannot be ignored.
Copyright, one of the core Intellectual
Property rights that has seen the con
tinued development of a knowledge
based economy in Kenya, contributes
significantly to the country’s economic
WIPO in its publication titled ‘The
Economic Contribution of Copyright
Based Industries in Kenya’ published in
2009 identified many copyright based
industries that contribute billions of
shillings to the country’s economy
According to World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO), in
2007, the copyright-based indus
tries in Kenya contributed an estimat-
ed Sh85.21 Billion which represent-
ed 5.32% of the total Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). Over a decade later,
the sector is growing strong and the
potential is enormous. Indeed, the cre
ative sector has been steadily trans-
forming the country towards a knowl-
edge driven economy with the uptake
for the intellectual property rights
being on the rise.
The number of people in Kenya
whose livelihoods depend on
Intellectual Property especially copy
right is on the rise. In realisation of
the sector’s contribution to the econ
omy, universities in Kenya have intro-
duced courses aimed at sharpening
skills for those talented in the areas.
For instance, universities have intro
duced degree programs in perform-
ing arts, theatre arts, film production,
music, design and even creative writ
ing among many others that boost the
knowledge base in the creative sector.
The government too appreciates the
potential the industry has in uplifting
the livelihoods of Kenyans.
The industries are categorised into
core copyright based industries, inter
dependent copyright based industries,
partial copyright based industries and
non-dedicated support industries.
Press and literature, music, theatri
cal productions, opera, motion pic-
tures and videos, radio and television,
photography, software and database,
visual and graphic arts and advertising
services are among the core copyright
based industries. The interdependent
copyright based industries include TV,
radios, VCRs, CDs and cassette players,
electronic game equipment, comput
er and equipment, photography and
cinematographic instruments, photo
copiers and bank recording materials
among others.
Those categorised under partial
copyright based industries include
apparel, textile and footwear, jewellery
and coins, other crafts, furniture, toys
and computer games, architecture,
engineering and surveying among oth
This Kenyan classification, which
compares fairly well with the United
Nation’s World Intellectual Property
Organization’s (WIPO) classification,
is an indicator of how deeply the coun
try’s economy is driven by intellectual
One of the flagship projects of the
Government of Kenya under the social
pillar of the Vision 2030 is to establish
a programme to identify, nurture and
develop music and performing arts tal
The WIPO report notes that the
contribution of the copyright-based
industries to the national economy on
the basis of GDP was higher than that
of the agricultural sector (2.3%), edu
cation (2.5%), and healthcare (3.9%),
and compared favourably with the
contributions of the other main sec
tors of the Kenyan economy, such as
fisheries (5.4%) and manufacturing
It noted that the contribution of
copyright-based industries of 62,131
people to the national employment was
also higher than that of the electrical-
and-water sector (19,000 employees)
and the mining-and-quarrying sector
(6,300 employees).
The contribution of copyright-
based industries to the national
employee income (Sh19.12 billion) was
more than that from the mining-and-
quarrying (Sh1.35 billion) and electri
cal-and-water (Sh8.37 billion) sectors,
individually as well as combined, the
report stated.
It was estimated that these indus
tries may be contributing upwards of
How Copyright Based Industry Will Boost
the President’s ‘Big Four’ Agenda
Editorial Opinion
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