YAKWETU named first-ever winner from Africa at WIPO Global Awards

YAKWETU co-founder and chief operations officer Mike Strano at the 2023 WIPO Awards in Geneva.

Kenyan entertainment technology start-up YAKWETU Online Limited has today been honoured as one of the seven winners of the 2023 WIPO Global Awards, at the 64th General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Now in its second year, the WIPO Global Awards recognises small and  medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from around the globe, that are successfully commercialising their IP-backed innovation and creativity in an exceptional manner, that also improves society.

YAKWETU emerged as one of the seven winners from 548 submissions and 25 finalists – from 16 countries and industries like creative, food, green technology, health, and more.

“YAKWETU in Kiswahili means both ‘Of Us’ and ‘For Us’.  We chose this Name, because it Articulates our Purpose of Making Available digital Content for Entertainment & Education – from Africans, to Africans; while Protecting it from its greatest Threat – Piracy, and Monetising it Equitably for the Creators,” YAKWETU co-founder and chief operations officer Mike Strano said. “We are deeply honoured to be the first African company, and first from the Creative Industry globally, to receive this Award from WIPO.

“I would like to thank the thousands of Customers on our first service, MyMovies.Africa, in The Motherland and her diaspora, our content creators and partners for believing in us, our very talented and dedicated Staff, our generous board of advisors and directors and my co-founder  Trushna Buddhdev-Patel.  To you all I say Ubuntu – We are, because You are.  Asanteni sana.”

WIPO Director General Daren Tang (center left) with representatives of the winners of the 2023 WIPO Global Awards, at a ceremony held during the July 6-14 Assemblies of WIPO Member States.

This announcement follows an October 2021 recognition, when YAKWETU was one of five (from over 200) applicants admitted to the second cohort in Kenya of the Next INnovation with JApan (NINJA) Accelerator; which concluded with the Launch of their Fundraising in January 2022.

WIPO Global Award winners will receive a customised 1:1 mentoring package to  bolster their IP strategies, including funding facilitation, partnership opportunities and publicity support.

More about YAKWETU

Meaning both “Of Us” and “For Us” in Kiswahili (the most popular African language), YAKWETU is an entertainment technology company that’s innovatively disrupting the 95-99% Piracy-dominated distribution channel of digital content in Kenya, with plans for the rest of Africa and other developing Countries.

Its proprietary online home entertainment and edutainment system has taken proactive measures to protect and monetise the Intellectual Property (IP) of its content partners.

Released on 26th September 2019, their Poof-of-Concept is MyMovies.Africa, as a mobile-first digital cinema extension, offering securely encrypted original movies from Africa (i.e. neew releases, classics, features, shorts, animations, documentaries, etc) on smart devices, across Africa and the diaspora, in 195 countries.

MyMovies.Africa™ features Premium Video On Demand – PVOD

(#RentFor2Days) for New Releases, Transactional Video On Demand – TVOD

(#RentFor7Days), Electronic Sell Through – EST (#OwnForLife) purchase and

Watch Parties via ZOOM, all Accessed here.

YAKWETU is adapting this proprietary technology to securely Retail other Digital Content from Africa, while also modernising existing Value Chains.

More information here: https://media.yakwetu.africa and https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f2X6AyKblObb6p0QAbLZm0tpAFUbOI7o/view

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