Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday launched the international channel of the public television station, TVM.
Speaking on behalf of President Filipe Nyusi, Rosario stressed the government's commitment to “pluralism and expansion of the mass media, thus establishing continual improvement in access to information for the entire Mozambican population”.
He praised TVM for its effort to expand coverage to all provincial capitals and to broadcast in Mozambican languages, as well as in Portuguese, “which helps reduce asymmetries in access to information”.
The new channel will bring TVM's services to an international audience. Initially the channel, which will broadcast only in Portuguese, will be aimed at the Mozambican diaspora living in other southern African countries.
Rosario hoped that TVM-International would be “a strategic platform for divulging to the outside world diverse television contents which express the identity and cultural mosaic of our country”.
He pointed out that the new channel “will enter a more competitive market, and so it is imperative that its contents are of high quality and are attractive for a vast and increasingly demanding audience”.
TVM, Rosario urged, should be capable “of responding to the needs of national and international viewers, while at the same time publicizing and promoting the cultural diversity and riches, the natural resources, and the tourism and agricultural potential of our country”.
He added that the launch of the new channel coincides with the start of digital migration. This would bring advantages in “more robust transmission of the signal, better quality of the contents, ease of producing contents for various platforms, and space for more television channels”.
The Prime Minister urged greater speed in the switch from analogue to digital “so that we can benefit from the opportunities of this technology”.
According to Jaime Cuambe, the chairperson of the TVM Board of Directors, the new channel will not be any added burden to TVM's budget. Doubtless this is partly because TVM is also abandoning its second domestic channel.
Cuambe said that TVM-International will transmit 24 hours a day on a closed, pre-paid signal in Mozambique and abroad. Outside the country it will initially broadcast to South Africa (which has by far the largest community of Mozambicans living in the diaspora), Angola and Tanzania. At a later stage, it will also broadcast to Portugal and Germany, the European countries where there are sizeable Mozambican communities.
“It is intended that this channel should be a bridge between those who are in the country and those who are abroad”, said Cuambe. “It will take information to the diaspora, and bring back information to Mozambique”.