TikTok is set to allocate a fund of Sh229 million to bolster Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. This announcement coincided with the commencement of the Creative Economy and Sports Week at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
Contrary to previous concerns and amidst the enforcement of more stringent rules by the social media giant, Kenya has officially declared that it will not impose a ban on TikTok within the country. The decision emerged following a meeting between TikTok representatives and President William Ruto, as disclosed by the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Arts, and Sports, Ababu Namwamba.
In August, an individual advocating for the ban of TikTok in Kenya, citing inappropriate content concerns, has now shifted the focus to advocate for the regularization of the application through strict regulations. Presenting before the National Assembly Public Petition, Bob Ndolo, the Executive Director General of Bridge Consultancy, amended the petition in response to calls from various stakeholders concerned about the application’s usage.
The revised petition came in the aftermath of talks between President Ruto and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, during which they reached an agreement on implementing moderation mechanisms to mitigate the presence of negative content on the video-sharing platform.
Explaining the rationale behind the amendment, Ndolo emphasized that they were not compelled to change their original petition, which initially sought a ban on TikTok. Instead, their decision stemmed from the numerous calls received from TikTok users, prompting a shift to advocate for regulations to safeguard national security and shield the youth from inappropriate content.
Ndolo clarified that the decision was not influenced by any external forces and that they were informed about the discussions between the President and TikTok CEO through the media, having had no direct involvement.
Ezekiel Mutua, the Chief Executive Officer of the Music and Copyright Society of Kenya, expressed support for the petition, highlighting the significant adverse impacts of the unregulated content on TikTok. Mutua urged Members of Parliament to take prompt action to protect Kenyan citizens from the negative effects of the application, which has exposed children to nudity and profanity. He emphasized the urgency of addressing the unregulated social media sites that pose a threat to the nation’s moral values, particularly concerning children