KNA to roll out one million rare photos in launch of online image portal

The Kenya News Agency, in partnership with the ICT Authority, showcased its online historical image archive in Machakos County as part of the Mashujaa Day celebrations. The showcase entailed a street exhibition display of historical photos of Kenyan heroes as well as memorable images of Machakos County that hosted this year’s Mashujaa Day ceremonies. The Online Historical Photo Library, available on Urithi.go.ke is meant to give all Kenyans access to their historical assets, and is the first of its kind in the country. The exhibition events will be held in 7 different towns across the country including Machakos, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kiambu, Maralal, and Nairobi. Some of the photos to be exhibited in these towns have never before been seen by the public since they were taken. ‘’The street exhibitions are aimed at promoting patriotism and cohesion by demonstrating Kenya’s rich shared history. We believe Kenyans have a right to access and appreciate where we have come from as a country and as a people,’’ said Robert Mugo, acting CEO of the ICT Authority. The KNA Digitization Project was conceived in 2011 with the ICT Authority securing funding from the World Bank in 2014 to support the project. In June 2015, KNA began digitizing over 1,000,000 historical images and nearly 2,000 hours of video dating back to the 1940s. According to KNA deputy director, Esther Wanjau, ‘’Actual physical photos are prone to wear and tear hence distortion or complete loss. However, with the digitization of KNA historical material, it is important to note that the history of Kenya has been preserved forever for future generations.” The Urithi website will host both images as well as videos dating back decades. KNA’s previously underutilized rich repository of historical multimedia records will now be easily accessible to the public through the URITHI online user-friendly e-commerce web portal. The implementation team also established the business case for KNA for the agency to remain relevant and play fair among competitors. Watermarked low-res digital copies of Kenya News Agency multimedia assets will be viewable at no cost online. KNA will offer licenses for personal and commercial reproduction and re-use of its assets. The collection will feature a mix of free public access licenses and fee-based licenses. The agency has not yet determined the fee structure for the various licenses it will offer, however, it is the intention to create competitive fee structure that is in line with market competitor fees.

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