Though Kenya’constitution was passed in 2010, its effect has been felt during the last four years. Adoption of the new constitution has greatly enhanced participation of citizens in cultural life and improved access to the public at large to diverse cultural expressions. The democratic space provided by the constitution has enhanced right and Freedom of expression in relation to artistic expression, right to language and participation to cultural life. This has encouraged emergence of new creative and artistic expressions by the youth while communities have revitalized their cultural expressions through the community cultural festivals. Many communities in Kenya are now keen to celebrate and safeguard their unique cultures. Communities are now more aware of their social cultural rights and are demanding recognition of their cultures in developement. For example some communities have gone to court seek for redress against infrastructural development activities that violate community’s cultures. Communities and individual citizens have embraced homegrown cultural expressions which have given rise to a new wave of patriotism through cultural expressions and celebrations. The constitution also devolved cultural facilities and activities to local county government which has triggered local county governments to incorporate culture in their development plans and have allocated funds to support promotion of culture. Many counties are now developing local county culture policies which are domesticated from national policies but focus on local priorities. There has been renewed focus to tap and develop talents by county governments over the last four years.
The main feature of the Constitution is article 11 which recognizes culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilization of the Kenyan people and nation. Article 11 which is on culture commits the government to promote all forms national and cultural expressions through literature, the arts, traditional celebrations, science, communication, information, mass media, publications, libraries and other cultural. The article further commits the state to protect the intellectual property rights of the Kenyan people. Other Articles of the constitution which are relevant to the convention include; Article 7 on national, official and other languages, Article 33 (b) on Freedom of expression in relation to artistic expression, Article 44 on language and culture and Article 56 on rights of minority groups in relation to developing their cultural values languages and practices. The constitution further stipulates that international instruments that Kenya has ratified form part of the constitution. Implementation of the constitution thus provides for implementation of the 2005 convention within the national law.
- Good governace
- Mainstreaming of culture in national development
- promotion of national cultural exapressions
-respect to fundamental freedoms and rights
-protection of minority cultures
- Enjoyment of culture
Implementation of the constitution is provided for under the national budgetary allocations for national and county governments which have prioritised programmes on implementation of the constitution.