14th Ordinary Session and General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting in Abuja.
By Ahmed Ubandoma
Mr. Arthur Asiimwe, the President, African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) says public service media in Africa must evolve into one that feeds the digital future.
He said that this would only be possible when media stakeholders in Africa leverage the dynamics of new technologies to advance digital broadcasting in the continent.
Asiimwe gave the advice during the opening of the 14th Ordinary Session and General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The theme of the event was: The impact and challenges of African Broadcasting in the Digital Transformation of the World.
“This require different mind-set and a different type of organisational model because it is all about adapting, evolving and transforming public service media into one that feeds the digital future“ he said.
The AUB President said while the rest of the world had gone digital, some African countries still battle with old technologies.
This, he said, must change especially for public broadcasting platforms which should immediately adapt to the new realities in the broadcasting world.
“Because, the future of broadcasting shows some of the resilience will come from making creativity and innovation at the heart of whatever we do as broadcasters.
“As audience demands keep changing, the future shows that linear broadcasting will soon become a platform of the past and our Africa countries remain behind.
“ So, we must leverage the dynamics of this new digital environment for quality content that meets global standard and of course the value it has for our citizens“ Asiimwe said.
The AUB President also urged the stakeholders to prioritise the generation of income through adoption of digital technology in broadcasting, to ensure quality content for commercial purposes.
“We must focus attention on what is happening in the digital space and why we must have income by using photos and videos.
“ The online video platform and Live Streaming industry is forecasted to be around thirty million dollars; live streaming events have increased by almost three hundred per cent over the last six months.
“Almost three quarters of Internet users watch online video content every week, video content in markets is helping to grow revenues by almost five per cent.“ he said.
Asiimwe therefore implored stakeholders to canvass support for broadcast stations in their respective countries to key into the new realities.
“We need to ensure that our governments understand this ambitious transformation and are able to provide new sources from information process.
“This does not mean we also start the services of Artificial Intelligence as the middle of the press cinema TV.
“Where robots are writing good stories, as much as what even professional journalists will write, the future belong to those that will be adapting to this new trend and creativity in all spheres.”
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, represented by the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Garba Abari, while declaring the session open called on the participants to promote the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
Mohammed while assuring the participants of Nigeria`s commitment towards supporting their course, expressed hope that the meeting will consider the AfCFTA as a tool for sustainable development.
The minister expressed optimism that the outcome of the meeting will provide a richer understanding and content that will deepen the understanding and buy-in of most Africans.
The Chief host and Director General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Mr Salihu Abdulhamid, called for more collaboration among African broadcasters to achieve common goals.
Abdulhamid expressed the need for the participants to ensure strict adherence to ethics and the promotion of standard procedure in broadcasting.
“We must focus on promoting the highest standards of broadcasting professionalism.
“Ensuring that our content reflects the diverse voices and perspectives of our communities, and leveraging the power of technology to improve our broadcasting infrastructure.”
He added that the assembly was an opportunity to reflect on the progress made so far, chart a course for the future and properly shape the continent’s cultural, social, and economic landscape.