The 9th Ordinary session of the General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) was held at the Abuja International Conference Centre in Nigeria on the 26th and 27th of November 2015.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Tewfik KHELLADI, (Algeria) President of the Union, assisted by two Vice-Presidents and the Chief Executive Officer of the Union, Mr. Lawrence ATIASE.
Out of 40 member countries 18 participated with 8 of them being members of the coalition of the willing. In keeping with the provisions of Article 7.2 of the Statutes of the Union the quorum was attained.
The opening ceremony was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. El-Hadj Lai MOHAMMED, representing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria - His Excellency Muhammadu BUHARI.
On behalf of the President the Minister, heartily welcomed all delegates and assured the Union of Nigeria’s support. He called on all participants to take a special interest in meeting the broadcasting needs of the youth of the continent whose viewing habits are changing rapidly at the risk of losing a significant segment of the audience. He urged AUB member organisations to educate the public on the challenges of the migration to digital broadcasting, one of the themes of the 9th General Assembly session.
To end his speech, the Minister equally called for greater involvement of the Union in issues of broadcast rights acquisition for member organisations as has been so ably done by the Union’s predecessor – URTNA.
Participants listened to messages from AUB’s partners and associate member, notably the European Broadcasters Union, the International Telecommunications Union and Radio Vatican.
The General Assembly adopted its draft agenda without amendments as well as the report on its 8th Ordinary session held in Dakar, Senegal in March 2015. The activities report for the period from mid March to mid November 2015, the financial report from January to October 2015 and the 2016 draft budget were equally adopted.
The General Assembly deliberations focused on three themes, namely, the digital switch over, the AUB Programme Production Fund and the Union’s Training strategy.
The major decisions emanating from the deliberations are as follows:
A clear and strong resolve to launch the AUB MENOS Network project as well as the One Minute project in 2016.
Continue efforts for the adoption by the African Union Heads of States summit of the AUB MENOS Network Project.
Continue the partnership with FIFA for the acquisition of broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments and other events for the member organizations.
Initiate discussions with officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the acquisition of the broadcast rights for the 2017 AFCON.
Charged the Administrative, Legal and Financial Commission to revise the Union’s annual membership subscription scale and the conditions for membership of the Executive Council.
Salutes the Union for its decisive involvement in the preparation and effective participation in the deliberations of the 1st African Union Technical Committee meeting and the 2015 World Radio Communication Conference thanks to the invaluable expertise of the AUB Technical Team.
Endorsed the joint declaration by the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) and the European Broadcasters Union (EBU) on the conclusions of the 2015 World Radio Communication Conference with particular emphasis on the;
protection of the UHF band (470 – 694 MHZ) for terrestrial broadcasting and services ancillary to broadcasting and
protection of the C Band for programme distribution.
The General Assembly elected Mr. Albert Donchebe, Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to the post of the President of the Union as well as three vice presidents from Mali, Angola and Algeria respectively.
The General Assembly also elected Mr. Gregoire Ndjaka, from the Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) to the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Union.
The General Assembly presented special congratulations to the out-going President of the Union, Mr. Tewfik KHELLADI (Algeria) for the leadership he has provided to the Union during his 5 year term of office.
The General Assembly also presented its heartfelt appreciation to the out-going Chief Executive officer, Mr. Lawrence ATIASE, for decades old commitment and loyalty to the organisation as well as his people’s skills and entrepreneurial spirit as CEO for the last 10 years.
The 10th Ordinary session of the General Assembly will be held in Dakar, Senegal in November 2016.
The General Assembly expressed profound gratitude to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their hospitality and to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) as well as the Nigeria Television Authourity (NTA) for the warm welcome and their commitment to promote the ideals of the AUB.