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  • December 1, 2015
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President Muhammadu Buhari has charged African Broadcasters on the need to focus on content production, as the continent joins the rest of the world in transiting from analogue to Digital broadcasting. 

The President, who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture - Alhaji Lai Mohammed, spoke at the Opening ceremony of the 9th General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), held in Abuja, Nigeria, recently.

He stated that the major challenge facing African Broadcasters today was the issue of content, noting that for them to take back their rightful place and be the catalyst to growth, broadcasters must face these challenges squarely.

“Broadcasting is not just about achievement, and technology is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. There is, therefore the need for African broadcasters in Africa to put more importance on content and use the power of their reach to invest in good quality content for the viewers.”

The Honourable Minister pointed out that it was the creation of content and world class production that would create jobs, provide revenue for Government, and create entertainment capable of increasing the broadcasters’ share of the advertising pie. He expressed appreciation to AUB for the choice of Nigeria and the timing of the event and promised African broadcasters that Nigeria was willing to share her experiences with the AUB members’ countries.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed urged AUB member states to explore the commercial viability of the services of Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, (NICOMSAT), for the Socio-Economic benefits of Africa and the world at large where the services are presently outsourced from Europe.

In his presentation, “Digitization in Africa: The Journey so far,” which was the theme of the conference, the Director General, NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba, reminded broadcasters that the singular journey that has made broadcasters assemble in Abuja for the event was borne out of the desire to ensure that Africa develops the best broadcasting standards for entrenching peace, unity and deepening good democratic governance.

He acknowledged that digital broadcasting would transform how the people watch television; create a lot of benefits for all stakeholders and accelerate development, not only in the broadcasting industry but in the entire initiative industries including, but not limited to film, music, fashion, tourism, movies etc.

“Africa will benefit from opportunities to increase economic growth that will be brought about by the transition to digital broadcasting. Substantial investments will come into the broadcasting and related sectors, a wide range of support services will emerge to cater to the sector and these will result in significant levels of job creation for our unemployed youths and significantly reduce unemployment.”

Mr. Mba noted that information in Africa was not just about entertainment, but about access to health and education and often makes the difference between life and death, which was why the Commission views DSO as an opportunity to rethink, re-imagine and remake broadcasting to serve the societal needs more efficiently in order to secure a more developed and socially cohesive country.

Other speakers at the occasion included, Mr. Tewfik Khelladi - President of AUB; Mr. Lawrence Atiase - CEO, AUB; DG, FRCN - Muhammad Ladan Salihu, who is also the Chairman, Administrative, Legal, and Finance Commission of AUB; the DG, NTA - Mr. Sola Omole; MD, NIGCOMSAT - Mrs. Abimbola Alale and a host of other dignitaries. 42 Countries participated in the conference which has turned out to be the largest gathering of African media and Broadcast Managers. The AUB started as URTNA in 1962 and in 2006 in Abuja, metamorphosed into the African Union of Broadcasters.

Story By: Antia Ekanem


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