SADC TV Bouquet should be fully African: Tweya

28 Jun 2015 14:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 28 JUN (NAMPA) - The SADC TV Bouquet should not contain any programmes, which are not African, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya said here on Friday.
He was officiating at the one-day meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Communications, Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) and Postal Services Ministers meeting.
“There is no point that we create our own bouquet and still watch other people’s content and nothing African. When we create that bouquet ourselves, we must stock it with African stories that we can tell the world,” Tweya said.
The SADC TV Bouquet was recommended at the seventh SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum convened from 10 to 12 June 2014 in Kasane, Botswana.
The bouquet is meant to provide African stories to be used on the many channels created as a result of the digital migration currently underway on the African continent.
Many SADC member states are migrating from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), and a gap for appropriate content has occurred, hence the efforts to establish a SADC TV Bouquet to fill that gap.
Namibia achieved this migration feat before the SADC analogue to DTT deadline of 17 June 2015, as set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
At the 2014 forum, SADC states were encouraged to provide their commitment to the SADC TV Bouquet project by submitting to the SADC Secretariat correspondence providing rebroadcasting rights to one of their national TV channels to all other SADC member states.
These states were further requested to nominate one member each to be part of the Task Team to finalise the modalities and operations of the SADC TV Bouquet.
This bouquet is currently in the pilot stage and will be implemented as soon as all arrangements are in place.
The SADC Secretariat coordinates the finalisation of the draft proposal on the SADC TV Bouquet.
Tweya said he is happy that the region is now looking at filling the content gap through the SADC TV Bouquet, which will help SADC to move together as one.
The minister said Namibia remains committed and ready to host such a bouquet when the time comes.
“There is also a need to establish a regional content hub where our content providers can interact for continued enhanced content provision,” said Tweya.
More than 100 African leaders converged in Walvis Bay from 21 to 26 June 2015 for the SADC DTT Steering Committee meeting followed by the ninth SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum and the SADC Communications ICT and Postal Ministers’ meeting.
The discussions provided opportunities for member states to share personal experiences on the migration from analogue to DTT.
Participants also discussed analogue switch-off strategies and digital platform operating models, funding models and development of local content.
The SADC Communications ICT and Postal Ministers’ meeting discussed the implementation of the SADC Roadmap on Digital Broadcasting Migration.