The federal government has challenged African broadcasters to scale up the quality of their content to sustain viewership in the continent.
Addressing participants at the African Union Broadcasting 9th general assembly in Abuja, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, observed that content is the media’s biggest challenge in Africa.
The focus of the conference was on the need for broadcasters to leverage on content to dominate the media space and become catalysts for growth and the Minister challenged the audience to “be the stimulants for growth” and “serve the promotion of culture”.
He warned, “If the issue of content is not addressed urgently, public broadcasters in Africa that once dominated the broadcasting landscape will have no viewers in the next ten years.”
The Director General and officials of the Nigerian Television Authority, National Broadcasting Commission, FRCN, NIGCOMSAT as well as Channels Television were at the conference.
Broadcasters and officials from Nigeria including the Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasters identified digitization as a vehicle to enhance services, interactive content and a vibrant media industry that will help grow the economy; a view shared also by the Minister, “This (digital switch) must not be seen as a simple switch from analogue to digital but an opportunity to provide enhanced services.”
After it became apparent that Nigeria would not meet the June 17, 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union to transit from analogue to digital, the summit rekindled hope for African countries looking towards a greater future for the African media.
The Nigerian government has been asked to provide more funding for space and weather technology and adequate human capital development to ensure that the promotes development in the 21st century .
The demand was made by experts at the opening of a four-day International Workshop on Space Weather and Earth’s Surface Phenomena taking place in Otta, Ogun State.
Addressing the gathering on Tuesday, the Director-General, National Space Research and Development, Professor Sedu Mohammed, said the government was committed to providing the much needed political leadership in Africa in the area of space weather research to aid development in the 21st century Nigeria.
Professor Mohammed said “Nigeria highly depends on space based technologies to tackle some of the socio-economic challenges, especially Global Positioning System, GPS”.
He stated that the Federal Government would continue to pursue implementation of a pragmatic space agenda which had resulted into the launch of the first earth observation MICR satellite NIGERIASAT-1, NIGCOMSAT and the Orbit to earth observation high resolution satellites, NIGERIASAT-2 and NIGERIASAT-X.
The International Space Weather Technology Symposium, with the theme “Use of Space Science for the Enhancement of the Studies of the Earth’s Surface Phenomena, is aimed at training young Nigerian scientists in the analysis of space data and review of the scientific awareness of space weather. It attracted participants and budding scientists from Nigeria and beyond.
It is also expected to aid development of capacity in space weather and science of earth surface phenomenon.
A Professor of Space Physics from the University of Paris, France, Prof Christine Amory-Mazaudier, stressed the need for the Nigerian authorities to provide the necessary leadership for Africa in this direction, as reassured by Professor Mohammed.