NBC allocated more than half of MICT budget

22 Apr 2015 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 22 APR (NAMPA) - The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is set to receive more than half of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT)’s budget for the 2015/16 financial year.
MICT minister Tjekero Tweya, who introduced his ministry's budget allocation of about N.dollars 603 million in the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday, said the NBC will receive N.dollars 341 million.
“Namibia remains a Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration forerunner with Mauritius and Tanzania in the Southern African Development Community (SADC),” he said.
DTT is the technological evolution of television broadcast from analogue, and transmits land-based (terrestrial) signals to digital transmission using satellites.
Since the implementation of the DTT, the national broadcaster now offers the transmission of seven television channels including NBC 1, NBC 2, NBC 3, One Africa Television, Trinity Broadcasting Network, EduTV, as well as a Namibian-based Music channel.
Tweya said the expected output would be the conversion of analogue transmitters to digital ones, which would enable the expansion and diversification of television (TV) channels to broadcast more locally-produced content in local languages. This volume of programming is only possible on the digital platform.
The national broadcaster now offers a digital terrestrial TV network covering at least 67 per cent of the population.
“In our efforts to bridge the information gap in our society, the ministry will ensure that the programmes and activities up to the constituency level are highlighted, and stories from the grassroots level are told and shared to inspire each other as a nation,” the minister said.
Tweya said his ministry has also identified a gap in telling Namibian stories from and to abroad, and therefore state-run media such as the NBC, New Era newspaper and the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) will start reporting about the programmes and activities of Namibian missions abroad.
This, he said, will be done in order to inform and educate the people what missions do and thereby tell Namibian stories to the world.
Meanwhile, N.dollars 20 million has also been allocated to Nampa for operational activities, covering the gathering and production of news stories for print media, television and radio stations.
The news agency, he said, will continue to gather and provide credible local news content to international, regional and local networks and vice-versa, with expected output to increase news features, sourcing of stories, compilation of news bulletins and the production of news audio clips.
N.dollars 13 million each is set-aside for the operational activities of the New Era Publication Corporation and the NamZim project, out of which The Southern Times, a SADC newspaper, is produced and distributed.
Tweya urged State-Owned Enterprises and government offices, ministries and agencies to make use of the services provided by New Era, as this will enhance their efforts to acquire their own printing press and save on high printing costs.