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Namibia: Broadcasters Zero in on World Cup Showcase

The Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), an association of state-run broadcasters in the region, has identified the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa, as one of its focal points for the years running up to the global event.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, President of SABA and Group CEO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), said a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to ensure continental broadcasting enhancement during the World Cup.

State broadcasters gathered in Windhoek yesterday to commence a three-day annual general meeting - its 15th this year - to discuss public broadcasting and regional integration.

The meeting will, among other things, discuss sport rights of the World Cup and CAN 2008, challenges for broadcasting in the drive to regional integration, public broadcasting reforms, and digital migration of broadcasters.

Speaking on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, John Pandeni, said long-term planning for capital investments must be carried out to develop modern broadcasting infrastructure that can enable the region's citizens to have access to electronic media, especially radio.

He said the regional integration of public broadcasting, which includes sharing of scarce resources, technologies and joint efforts in the acquisition of broadcast rights is crucial in light of the upcoming African Cup of Nations (in Ghana next February) and the 2010 World Cup.

"By working together, we will be better positioned to enable our broadcasters, more so the public broadcasters that do not have access to big budget allocations to broadcast these special events," said Pandeni. He further said public broadcasters should keep abreast with the latest technological developments in the industry, especially in view of the fact that the International Telecommunications Union resolved that analogue transmitter technologies would no longer be produced after 2015.

Mpofu said that broadcasters had committed themselves to empower their citizens to drive the "new struggle for democracy and development".

(New Era (Windhoek), 23 October 2007)

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