Monday 4th July 2016
From the 20th to 22nd June 2016, the African Union of Broadcasting and personalities from the African and Chinese media fraternity met in the Chinese Capital for 3 days of intensive work.
In the last 25 years, the African audiovisual media landscape has changed significantly. From the monopoly of public service media, with this condition evident in almost all African states, we have switched to a liberalization marked by the creation of private radio and television channels. This improvement much as it is a positive benefit, still has many upheavals that force or compel the states to rein on.
From the 20th to 22nd June 2016, media leaders from Africa and China, as well as African ministers for Information and Communication met in Beijing to reflect on common strategies. These meetings were organized within the framework of the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation, initiated by the Chinese government, and the 6th Seminar on the Development of digital television in Africa, organized by STARTIMES.
It was the China People’s Palace in Beijing, which was the venue of the 1st meeting placed under the auspices of the Vice-Minister of the General Administration of the Press, Editing, Broadcasting, Film and Television of China (SAPPART), Mr. Tong GANG. He was accompanied by Mr. Cai FUCHAO, Vice-Minister of Communication in the Department of (SAPPART) in China, the Vice-Minister in charge of Chinese Foreign Affairs, Madam Ma LI, Director General of the Department of international Cooperation of China (SAPPART) as well as the Head of the Chinese National Broadcasting (CCTV).
The African Union of Broadcasting was represented at the Beidjing meeting by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Grégoire NDJAKA. In his introductory note, AUB’s CEO placed an important emphasis on the evolution of the African audiovisual media from the 1990 to nowadays. He noted that the arrival of Broadcast Media Jostled habits of both government and consumers, for example the acceptance of the implementation of new regulatory laws in many countries with a better distribution of Frequency modulation (FM) bands.
It is during this period that Africa experienced the first private paid Television channel. Also Africa witnessed the birth of powerful media groups, real media empires that sometimes are against powers, the proliferation of private bouquets supply, the development of interest in streaming and last but not least the migration from analogue to digital.
In the list of activities in progress, the CEO stressed on the establishment of a network of information and programming on satellite, the project of digitalization and exploitation of audiovisual archives of the AUB based in Kenya (Largest reserve of Africa’s archives), the creation of training programs, the negotiations of rebroadcasting rights for sporting events, among others.
Despite the general improvement in broadcasting, African broadcasters still stumble today against many difficulties. “It’s a real concern remains the issue of content”, said the CEO of AUB for which the battle is not yet won by the black continent. The CEO posed questions for thought which include among other; what has Africa offered to the world? Are African realities sufficiently represented in the African media? In Summary the CEO of the AUB emphasized that efforts are still needed (it’s the survival of the Africa’s soul) culture, originality, its contribution to the culture of the universe he said.
The CEO of AUB finally hinted on the problem of funding of public service broadcasting which is still a huge challenge and the effective implementation of the migration for analogue to digital transmission which is still lacking.