12 February 2014

Malawi: Adequate, Quality Local Content Crucial for the Success of Digital Migration

Arusha — The development of high quality and adequate local content is crucial for the successful transition from analogue to digital broadcasting iin Africa, Tanzania's Minister of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, Fenela Mukangara, declared Tuesday evening.

Opening the 9th Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum Africa in Arusha, Tanzania, Mukangara said digital switchover is of benefit to broadcasters who would, once the switchover is complete, have the potential to broadcast more channels and offer high definition services to the viewers.

"This can be good for the economy of African countries as additional channels will create the need for creating new programming," she said.

She, therefore, observed that development of high quality and adequate local television content for Africa's viewing communities was key to meeting the needs and aspirations of African people.

Mukangara expressed concern over the dominance on foreign programme content on African television channels which are not relevant to the African context and urged delegates to the Forum to come up with tangible strategies and modalities for developing more local content of high quality and with a digital appeal, saying local content is very important in the digital era. She also stressed the need for Africa to invest more towards development of local programming that responds to the public needs which should not solely highly comprise commercial content.

"I challenge you to come up with solutions and modalities that will ensure production of adequate and high quality local content that is useful, relevant, credible and reflects the social, political and cultural aspirations of the African people," Mukangara explained.

She said this year, the Forum has been held at the right time when countries were at different levels of the digital switchover thereby offering countries an opportunity to share and learn from each other experiences and challenges encountered in the implementation of digital migration in Africa.

The Digital Broadcasting switchover Forum Africa is one of the events in digital broadcasting that provides a unique platform for policymakers and regulators to interact with broadcasters, content producers, broadcast network infrastructure providers and operators, equipment manufacturesand opinion leaders to discuss challenges, solutions and opportunities in the broadcasting industry.

This year's Forum has been organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation CTO) and is being held under the theme 'Achieving Africa's Digital Migration', and delegates are expected to discuss the current status and the future of digital migration for Africa.

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