National Policy on Culture and Heritage
To promote culture as the Centre piece and driving force behind human, social and economic development and shall encourage cultural pluralism.
To foster the national unity of the Kenyan nation while protecting its cultural diversity for sustainable development.
The Kenya cultural policy is aimed at ensuring the fullest possible expressions of culture in all its facets including equal access for all cultures to art and to scientific and technological and digital form.
Specific objectives of the cultural policy include: Understanding and clarifying the content of cultural rights' as an integral part of human rights: Formulating policies and strategies for the preservation and enhancement of Kenya's tangible and intangible cultural heritage and combating illicit trafficking in cultural goods and services: support creators of culture and artist while striving to preserve and enhance their creative capacity: ensuring protection of copyright and related rights in the interest of development of contemporary creativity and fair remuneration of creative work, while at the same time upholding the public right of access to culture: ensuring that Kenya cultural policy reflects Kenya's international legal obligation as set out in the various legal instruments: strengthening Kenya cultural identity and ensuring that it benefits Kenya economy, its social integration and international relations: establishing an institutional framework for the promotion and development of Kenya's diverse cultural heritage: elimination of retrogressive and dysfunctional cultural Kenya's practices: protection and promotion of communal rights, as well as the rights of communities to organize and participate in cultural activities.
WHEN WAS IT INTRODUCED
The National policy on Culture and Heritage was launched on 3rd March 2010 and consequently came into effect soon after as a guiding tool for the development of the creative sector in Kenya. This was spearheaded by stakeholders in the creative sector in realization of a need to have a policy to guide the sector in Kenya and focus on a dynamic cultural sector that aims at contributing to economic development. This was coupled with outcome of meetings of ministers of culture who implored the state to have a policy to drive the sector. The policy was approved by cabinet in 2008 as an expression of commitment by the government to protect, enhance and preserve Kenya's cultural heritage.
As a strategy for implementation the ministry of culture identified cultural stakeholders and a technical team on policy matters to develop an implementation plan of the national policy on culture and heritage. The implementation plan included awareness creation and sensitization of communities, government administrators and the general public on the content of the policy. The policy advocates for establishing institutional frameworks such as the construction of community cultural centres in every constituency in Kenya, the establishment of the national culture council as an advisory body on matters of culture and establishment of an endowment fund to support artists and other cultural practitioners. The policy is currently under review and hence several stakeholders forums have been organized to that effect, as well as draft necessary cabinet memos on legislative measures needed to facilitate implementation of the policy.
The policy has also been implemented through a five year department of culture strategic plan which outlines programmes geared towards promotion of cultural heritage including putting in place cultural infrastructure.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
In Kenya the culture sector continuous to suffer from limited budget allocations even towards policy implementation therefore implementation has been delayed and programmes not undertaken within the set time-frames.
Emerging issues in terms of globalization which brings along the development of new cultures, the liberalization of industries as part of globalization is probably the biggest challenge coupled with continuous policy development processes causing delay in implementation and overlaps within the constitutional dispensation hence calling for a review of the cultural policy.
Inadequate awareness creation due to lack of capacity to do so, including the number of officers, media training to build capacity on cultural matters.
aligning the culture and appropriation of culture by other policies such as the cultural tourism policy, the museums act, and other public sectors doing cultural work has lead to fragmentation of cultural matters.
Lack of departmental capacity to implement the policy due to limited funding and low staff deployment.