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The 2nd Nairobi Innovation Week
By. George Nyakweba & June Okal
e Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO)
participated at the Nairobi Innovation
Week held at the University of Nairobi
Chancellors Court Grounds from 1st to
5th August 2016. Among the panelists were
KECOBO Executive Director Mr. Edward
e panelists looked into the details of
establishing and running eective research
and innovation commercialization
programs. Kenya has put innovation at
the centre of its development strategy
primarily through Vision 2030 as well as
legislation such as Science, Technology and
Innovation Act which mandates that R&D
spending be doubled to 2% of the GDP.
Founded on the belief that innovation is
the most important pillar of the University
of Nairobi, the University hosts an annual
Nairobi Innovation Week which is a
forum that seeks to bring together various
stakeholders to celebrate, re- focus and
energize the innovation eorts. It’s a
signature annual event to celebrate and
recognize innovations that are relevant to
our society.
e event was launched by his Excellency
Hon. President Uhuru Kenyaa. In His
Keynote speech, Hon. Kenyaa applauded
the University of Nairobi for remaining
on top in innovations and leading as an
example. He acknowledged the importance
of innovation as Kenya continues to lead
in the East African region. Other keynote
speakers, delegates and VIP panelists
included; Hon Fred Matiang’i Cabinet
Secretary Ministry of Education, Science
and Technology, Hon. Adan Mohammed
Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry,
Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Joe Mucheru,
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information
and Communications Technology.
is year’s innovation week main focal
theme was ‘Partnerships for innovations
that truly impact people and societies’. It
targeted over 1000 delegates from dierent
categories. Nairobi Innovation Week
2016 sought to bring together various
stakeholders to a common platform to
champion relevant policy discussions on
innovation; with the intended outcome to
inuence on innovation related policies on
institutions and the State through policy
e Board set up a stand at the Exhibition
Arena which was manned by members of
sta throughout the whole period of the
Innovation Week. More than 300 people
visited board’s stand. e greatest interest
from delegates was on soware protection,
the process and benets of Copyright
registration. e participants lauded the
eorts of the Board with several innovators
asserting their intention to visit the Board
to protect their works. ey found the
interaction informative, educative and
helpful for young innovators and upcoming
soware developers.
So, how will we consume music in say ten,
twenty years to come? Not even a magician
can give you the exact picture of this but
one can easily predict, with some degree
of certainty, the form in which music will
be consumed. An industry enthusiast will
intimate to you how music streaming is the
future. is, I believe, is true.
Global trends will always have a bearing on
how we listen to music in Kenya. Already,
streaming has taken shape but is quite
underdeveloped. e large ‘telcos’ are still
trying to study it: Safaricom rolled up Skiza
as a ring back tone platform and its usage is
increasing. Airtel also has a music platform
that allows artists to upload their content.
I am sure that, going forward, they will be
seriously courting this creative industry of
For now, music fans depend on Mdundo
for music streams and download. We are
now in the stage where streaming is about
to overtake music le downloads. It has
already happened in developed countries
where access to data bundles is much more
en comes the question of the cost of
music to the consumer and the question of
freemium’ versus premium. Considerably,
the cost of music has reduced. Many
prefer to listen to music on ad-supported
platforms like Youtube and Mdundos free
package as opposed to buying music online
or streaming on premium digital services
like iTunes.
is could be partly aributed to low
income by prospective customers, who
are forced to contend with the ads and low
quality of music, just to get entertained.
Mdundo has a premium package which is
yet to get considerable subscribers while
Waabeh is selling but, maybe, just tens of
So what is the future of music consumption
in Kenya? Digital disruption already
clipped CD stores and it’s expected that
all music will be available in the cloud.
Technologies will focus on quality of
sound, avoiding compressed formats like
the .mp3 while also improving sound
systems of headphones and speakers. Due
to an improved copyright framework,
musicians will benet more from licensing
rights to songs, with some brands oering
their customers exclusive music content of
some musicians in exchange for loyalty.
Mr. Edward Sigei, KECOBO Executive Director (seated middle), together with other panelists during a session at
the Nairobi Innovation Week held at the University of Nairobi.