President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged African broadcasters to pay more attention to the creation of educative and informative contents that would usher them into their rightful place and also serve as catalysts for the needed growth in the continent.
Declaring open the 9th African Union of Broadcasting, AUB, General Assembly in Abuja yesterday, with the theme, “Digitalisation, the Journey so far”, the President, encouraged public broadcasters in Africa to use the power of their reach to invest in good quality content for the viewers, saying that in the media industry, ‘content is king’.
‘’Broadcasting is not just about equipment, and technology is not an end in itself but a means to an end. There has been too much focus on equipment without massive investment of time and resources into content,’’ he said.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, cited the example of British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, as an example of a public broadcast that has leveraged on content to dominate the media space.
‘’They have become the catalyst for growth in the production and channel industry with spin-offs like BBC foods, BBC prime, BBC worldwide, etc. Their catalogue of content that they now sell all over the world is admirable,’’ he added.
The President said that the creation of content and world class production would create jobs, provide revenue for government and quality entertainment capable of increasing the broadcasters’ share of the advertising pie.
‘’Therefore, I challenge you to be the stimulant for growth in your creative industries and serve the promotion of culture. You must not lose the younger generation who is fast changing their view of television, what they watch and how they watch it. 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 10 years,’’ President Buhari said.
He also said African countries must not see the Digital Switch Over as a simple crossover from Analogue to Digital but an opportunity to provide enhanced services, quality programming, interactive content and a new and vibrant media industry that will help grow the economy of the various African countries and create jobs’’.
President Buhari said Nigeria had recorded significant achievements in her digitization effort and is willing to share her experiences with the AUB member countries.
‘’URTNA used to get the radio and TV rights for broadcasting such events to African viewers using the public broadcasters, instead of the practice now that some individual marketing companies will simply secure the rights and price such beyond the reach of national broadcasters, thus limiting viewership to the few who can afford to pay TV subscription. The AUB must work hard to regain its lost glory in this respect,’’ the President said.

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