Nigeria: African broadcasters, stakeholders meet in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The 11th edition of the biennial international conference of African broadcasters tagged AFRICAST opened in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Tuesday, with the Nigerian Federal Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, saying that the Nigerian government is committed to meeting the 2017 deadline on digital switch over.

Mr Mohammed stated that AFRICAST “provides a platform for stakeholders in Africa’s broadcasting scene to converge and exchange ideas on content creation and explore the possibilities offered by the new and emerging technology. This is why technology and broadcast content have remained critical issues at the various editions of AFRICAST."

The three-day meeting under the theme "Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting: The imperative of Financing Quality Content" is being attended by about 1,000 participants from over 30 countries drawn from Africa, America and Europe.

They comprise, among others, broadcasters, policy makers, content producers and equipment manufacturers (local and foreign).

Mr Mohammed said the digitization of the technology of broadcasting is rapidly changing broadcasting and offering fresh opportunities.

"Broadcasters are embracing platforms for diverse content and now require media tools with continuous access to content throughout their business. Content producers are delivering their programme content to ever more devices. The evolution of new broadcast platforms is threatening traditional broadcast platforms and channels."

The minister said the reality though is that the motivation apparently is that as broadcasters engage new platforms, the market opportunities are increasing, providing new revenue streams.

Mr Mohammed said the regulators of broadcasting in Africa must begin to envisage and appropriate the larger implications of the roll out of these platforms.

"Africa must ensure that our media continue to serve their peoples in terms of security, economic well-being, and technological advancement. We need to be literate in the emerging technological platforms and understand them before we can apply them.”

The conference, which started in 1996, is being showcased as an investment platform and a market place of ideas and materials.

The highlights of this year’s edition include exhibition of cutting edge digital broadcast equipment and presentation of conference papers.

Nigeria’s airwaves regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which is facilitating the conference says that the conference is very significant as the maiden edition in 1996 coincided with the deregulation of the broadcast industry in the country while the 2016 outing is coming at the threshold of the digital switch over.
-0- PANA MON/MA 18Oct2016

18 october 2016 11:47:11

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