Report to the Board: Digitization of the Kenya News Agency Archive Prepared by: 
Abbas MahmoodPrepared for: Wikimedia KenyaDate: August 2, 2012Background & 
Context 
I was invited to join a digitization working group created by the Kenya News 
Agency & the Kenya ICT Board that was aimed at laying a strategy for the 
digitization of KNA's content. Last week, the working group had our first 
meeting, and my main goals were to 1) talk about non-commercial use of content, 
2) use the Aljazeera Creative Commons Repository as a case study, and 3) learn 
from other stakeholders that were involved.
 KNA has a repository of (mainly) photos (6,000+) related to Kenya’s history 
and culture dating back to the pre-colonial era. But due to budgetary 
constraints, the photos are stored in non-ideal conditions and their risk of 
damage or deterioration is therefore high. Moreover, their content is currently 
underutilised due the difficulty in retrieving the photos and lack of public 
awareness.
The working group has around 20 members with folks coming from different 
backgrounds: studio producers, film makers, Kenya National Archives staff, 
AMREF Library staff, Bank of Africa staff, Creative Commons staff, freelance 
photojournalists, Ministry of Information & Communication staff, Kenya ICT 
Board staff and myself. 

We had our first meeting last week in Limuru and my task was to talk about 
non-commercial use and to talk about the Aljazeera Creative Commons Repository.

Summary
It was agreed that one of the potential customers of this project will be 
Wikipedia; and that some of the content will be donated to Wikimedia under a 
free licence. (Note that the digitized repository will be used for commercial 
purposes, but we’ll get a small content donation for purposes of publicity and 
awareness).

Also, some of the photos that KNA has are caption-less or lack the relevant 
metadata. It was suggested that we(the working group) explore the use of online 
collaboration (such as wikis or social media) to engage with the public and 
inquire about photos which don’t have known descriptions. We therefore expect 
citizen engagement to help us in identifying some of the photos.

[We discussed lots of other issues which I have intentionally omitted since 1) 
the final report is not out yet; and 2) it’s not relevant to you guys.] 
Conclusion

We are now creating a proposed roadmap on the way forward which will be 
presented, next week, to the Permanent Secretary of Information & 
Communication, Dr. Bitange Ndemo, for final approval before we proceed with 
this project. 
                                          
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