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Broadcast, Film and Convergence in Africa – Issue no. 2041 30 June 2016

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  • SES S.A. (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG), the world’s leading satellite operator, today announced the results of its first Satellite Monitor study on the Nigerian market, which provides insight on the important role SES plays in the growth of the satellite television reach in the country.

    The study highlights that SES reaches 2.81 million TV homes across the country, of which 1.69 million are reached directly by SES satellites 1.12 million cable TV homes are fed indirectly by the SES fleet. In total, there are 33.9 million TV homes in Nigeria, with 8.98 million of them being served by satellites directly and the rest by terrestrial and cable networks.

    SES has increased their technical reach in sub-Saharan Africa from one million TV households in 2013 to eight million TV households by the end of 2015. The technical reach of 1.69 million TV households in Nigeria contributes to this increase.

    The Satellite Monitor study is an annual market research study commissioned by SES and carried out by various independent institutes. The study has been conducted for over 20 years in Europe and has now been successfully replicated in Nigeria. Over 12,000 face-to-face interviews were conducted for this first of its kind study to be carried out by a satellite operator, in this case in a market where digitalisation is a key focus and a national priority.

    Eric Lecocq, General Manager of North, West and Central Africa at SES, said, “SES is committed to helping economic and sustainable growth in Nigeria and accelerating the digital switchover process in the region. We aim to connect the entire Nigerian population with our satellites, by developing the broadcasting landscape in partnership with our local partners and in close coordination with broadcasters. We conducted the study because we saw a gap and need for such information to be available and easily accessible in the country.”
    The findings provide credible industry statistics on the market that can be used by other industry players to further understand the broadcasting industry landscape and the role of satellite infrastructure.

    “Nigeria is currently in the process of migrating from analogue to digital and, through the study, SES has established a market benchmark for the Nigerian TV viewing choices that will directly support the digital switchover and independently track the progress of the project. Going forward, this annual research will also enable us to start monitoring trends in the market,” Lecocq concluded.
    Source: Press Release

  • Black Lives Matter, directed by Joseph Oesi, is a powerful and damning indictment on the current state of affairs for tens of thousands of miners working and living in abysmal conditions across South Africa. The film had its global premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on 19 June 2016.

    Taking the Marikana Massacre as its starting point, the film digs into the history of the mining sector as well as the political backstory that led up to the tragedy, and demonstrates that even since this defining moment, nothing has changed for most miners across South Africa.

    Director Joseph Oesi, a South African filmmaker and TV journalist, was moved to produce the film after witnessing the devastating events of 16 August 2012 play out on TV screens across South Africa and the world. Oesi knew that this event was the manifestation of a much larger story that was taking place, not just in South Africa, but across the continent. He explains his motivation for making the film: This film being produced is a very important one at this juncture of my country s change of course. South Africa has certainly set a course, fuelled by a betrayal to the original course set by the original struggle heroes and to the Freedom Charter. Mining, at the heart of the country s economy, has underpinned the course in the interest of big business. In essence the struggles, sufferings from colonialism and Apartheid still persist in modern day South Africa to the disappointment of the vast majority.

    For more information visit the films official website.

  • ZIFF announced the signing of a sponsorship agreement with the Italian NGO, ACRA. This move will not only support ZIFF, one of Zanzibar s major festival events, but also support the island s tourism and cultural development.

    ACRA will fund the Difficult Dialogues Public Forum, held during the festival each year, as well as an Artist-in-Residency programme and exhibition in collaboration with NAFASI Art Space held from 9 to 17 July 2016, and the workshop My Heritage in collaboration with UQ Produzioni of Italy.

    Laura Bassini, programme manager of ACRA explains their involvement, ACRA recognises the role that civic organisations like ZIFF play towards development and the festival is a great occasion to acknowledge that good work.

    Awareness is an essential background towards long term sustainability of cultural heritage. People need to be informed about the outstanding value of Stonetown Heritage for the entire world. On this basis, local inhabitants will have higher motivation to maintain and promote it, added Bassini, noting that the UNESCO office in Dar es Salaam and other interested parties have agreed to take part in the public forum that will take place on 13 July.

    Speaking at the signing of the contract, professor Martin Mhando, CEO of ZIFF also explained further, Among different activities, the project will create different awareness activities in order to sensitize Zanzibar inhabitants on the importance of the Conservation of the Build Heritage of Stone Town and its potential for economic growth and income generation.

    We stop the festival to engage with the community of Zanzibar and the public forum is our way of assuring that the people of Zanzibar maintain their right to freedom of speech as enshrined in the UNO charter, concluded Mhando.

    The UNO is a major supporter of ZIFF through UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF.

    For more information visit the Fondazione ACRA website or the ZIFF website

  • ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 23, 2016/ -- The Ministers of Culture, Youth and Sports of African Union Member States have today established the long awaited African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission as a specialized agency of the African Union.

    The establishment is the result of concerted efforts led by the Government of the Republic of Kenya, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers , the African Union Commission and leading film producing countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Zimbabwe among others. Establishment of AACC was first called for by the AU Executive Council in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2003.

    The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) will be responsible for the promotion of the rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry and shall create appropriate structures at the national, regional and continental levels; strengthen cooperation between African States in the area of audiovisual and cinema; and promote the use of audiovisual and cinematic expressions as factors of rapid development, job creation, integration, solidarity, respect of values and mutual understanding in order to foster peace, a positive image of Africa, and prevent conflicts.

    The statutes of the newly established specialized agency will be considered by an extraordinary meeting of the Culture sub-committee of African Ministers in early September 2016 before being considered by the Ministers of Legal Affairs and Justice in October 2016.

    The audiovisual and cinema industry accounts for US$5 billion in continental GDP, employing an estimated 5 million people. With the current push for its development, this industry is expected to grow to over 20 million jobs and US$20 billion in annual GDP contribution.

    The AACC is part of a 5 programme ecosystem that is mobilizing US$410 million in programme funds for the promotion of this industry over the next five years. These resources will be raised from both the private and public sector and will be implemented primarily by the private sector.

    The National Governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) shall have the responsibility of incorporating sectoral activities of the audiovisual and cinema industry into their economic and social priority strategies to give the right signals for resource mobilisation.

    Expected Benefits to African Countries:

    This renewed effort will have following benefits:

    Grow the sector from 5 to 20 million jobs in the medium term;
    Grow the sector from US$5 billion to 20 billion in annual GDP contribution, in the medium term;
    A robust audiovisual and cinema industry capable of projecting a positive image of Africa;
    Facilitate attainment of Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want, and be a good base for the export of African film products and services to international audiences and customers;
    Enhance capacity of the continent to meet its foreign policy objectives particularly peace building, integration, and PanAfricanism.

    Source: Press Release

  • The government has moved to split state broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) into two companies —public and commercial— in line with proposed recommendations in a draft ICT policy.

    The proposed changes are contained in the draft National ICT policy June 2016.

    KBC’s Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya said the move is aimed at making the corporation more competitive while at the same time protecting its role of informing the public without the headache of pursuing profits.

    “The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) will be restructured to ensure its relevance and viability as the public broadcaster,” reads part of the ICT policy.

    “KBC may also establish a subsidiary to provide commercial broadcasting services subject to fulfilment of licensing and regulatory requirements.”

    Mr Waihenya said although KBC is a commercial entity that is supposed to be making profits, the current law has limited this opportunity through a requirement that the corporation first concentrate on its key role as a public broadcaster.

    This has seen it offer services even in areas that are considered commercially unviable, making it difficult to compete with its peers in the industry in terms of talent, since it cannot match what competitors are offering staff.

    The proposed policy will, however, now provide the corporation with a legal muscle to create a full-fledged commercial arm.

    If adopted, the proposal will see KBC’s FM stations such as Coro, Pwani and Metro FM transferred to the commercial unit.

    The English service and Radio Taifa will, however, remain under the public service. “Currently, although some of our vernacular stations may be classified as commercial, this is not well grounded in the law,” Mr Waihenya said.

    Information Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru said the draft policies will have to undergo public scrutiny before they are forwarded to the Attorney-General and then to the National Assembly before it is enacted into law.
    Source: The Nation 25 June 2016

  • Infront Sports & Media has sealed media rights agreements in eight additional territories for broadcast coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This latest deal extends the reach and the exposure of the games across Sub-Saharan Africa.

    A release from Infront notes that key territories including Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Congo and Cote d’Ivoire ‘demonstrate the significant success of the Infront rights distribution effort – operating as exclusive media rights partner to the International Olympic Committee across 43 countries and territories in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

    Taking a collaborative approach, Infront is supported operationally by the France-based international sports event television and organisation agency TV Media Sport (TVMS). Read the full story here:
    Source: Trianthalon News 22 June 2016

  • The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) announced its award winners on the evening of 25 June at the closing ceremony of the festival s 37th edition which took place at The Playhouse in Durban, prior to the screening of the closing film The Space in Between by Marina Abramovic from Brazil.

    The award for the Best Feature Film went to The Violin Player directed by Bauddhayan Mukherji. The jury s citation said: A seductive and mysterious tale of a violin player s mundane life and an interesting take on how chance encounters are almost predestined. By successfully weaving offbeat editing, brave cinematography, simple screenplay, honest direction and a lot of surprising elements, the film shows us that art, no matter how unimportant it may seem, can change people s lives.

    The award for Best South African Feature Film went to Tess (a 2013 Durban FilmMart project), directed by Meg Rickards, which the jury described as a measured and uncompromising debut feature.

    The Best Documentary award went to Martha and Niki directed by Tora Mkandawire Martens, which the jury described as a visual feast that skilfully intertwines a profound reflection on (an) art form with the inner journey of two compelling characters. The jury made a special mention of Action Commandante, also a former Durban FilmMart project, by Nadine Cloete, for its exceptional quality and commitment to its subject matter.

    The Best SA Documentary went to The Journeymen, directed by Sean Metelerkamp. The citation from the jurors said: The Journeymen takes an unflinching look at who we are by holding up the proverbial mirror to South African society. The honesty, bravery and commitment of the film crew results in a mosaic picture of our country with warts and all. This is strong and uncompromising cinema that is simultaneously disturbing and life-affirming.

    Best Short Film went to Grandmas Day (Dzien Babci) directed by Milosz Sakowski. The jury also made special mention in this category of the film Ave Maria directed by Basil Khalil.

    The Best African Short Film award, which is supported by the Gauteng Film Commission, went to New Eyes directed by Hiwot Admasu.

    eKhaya (Home), directed by Shubham Mehta won the Best South African Short Film award, which is also supported by the Gauteng Film Commission. The shorts jury also made special mention of two other films in this category Amagugu directed by Ndududo Shandu and Discovery of Fire directed by Gerhard Pretorius.

    The Best Actor award went to Mohsen Namjoo for his performance in Radio Dream, directed by Babak Jalali. The award for Best Actress went to Christia Visser for her role as Tess in Tess directed by Meg Rickards.

    The awards for Best Direction went to Ciro Guerra for Embrace Of The Serpent, Best Cinematography to Chris Lotz for The Endless River and Best Screenplay went to Ciro Guerra and Thoedor Koch-Grunberg for Embrace of The Serpent.

    A new award, Best Editing, sponsored by SAGE (South Africa Guild of Editors), went to Tess which was edited by Linda Man. The award for Artistic Bravery was given to Neon Bull directed by Gabriel Mascaro for its unique portrayal of a little-known community of Brazilian rodeo workers.

    The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights award for the film that best reflects human rights issues, which comes with a cash prize donated by the Artists for the Human Rights Trust, went to Noma, directed by Pablo Pineda.

    The international jury this year was made up of four jurors: Bianca Balbuena, an award-wining producer from the Philippines; Fibby Kioria, the programme director of Maisha Foundation, an initiative founded by Mira Nair to empower visionary filmmakers in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda; Sherif Awad a film critic who currently works for the Luxor African Film Festival; and Trevor Steele Taylor a veteran of festivals in South Africa, having programmed for the Cape Town International Film Festival, the weekly Mail & Guardian Film Festival and DIFF, and is the curator for film at the National Arts Festival.

    The South African feature film jury consisted of filmmakers Jahmil Qubeka and Melissa Parry, while the documentary jurors were filmmakers Rehad Desai, Omelga Mthiyane and Riaan Hendricks, and the short film jurors were filmmakers Neil Coppen and Sumayya Rawat.

    The Amnesty Jury consisted of Coral Vinsen, Nonhlanha Mkhize, Betty Rawheath and Mark Povall.
    Source: Screen Africa

  • The Communications Department and MultiChoice (operating DStv) have lodged appeals at the Constitutional Court over the legal battle surrounding the roll-out of unencrypted digital terrestrial television services in South Africa.

    According to a report by EWN, the pair have accused Etv of “wanting government to pay for it to be able to start encrypted pay-TV services”.

    The move follows the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling for Etv in its case against Communications Minister Faith Muthambi over the use of unencrypted set-top boxes.

    Etv said if it is unable to broadcast through an encrypted system, it won’t be able to show high-quality content.

    The Communications Department said its aim with distributing set-top boxes is to “help poor people gain access to digital television signals”, according to the report, and it does not need encryption to do that.

    It said Etv wants encrypted services so it will not have to pay to give its users its own set-top boxes.

    South Africa had planned for its digital migration since 2008, but missed the International Telecommunication Union’s 2015 deadline for the move.
    Source: My Broadband 23 June 2016

  • Based on Can Themba s iconic short story, The Suit, had its premiere at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2016 on 25 June. The South African classic has been adapted for the screen for the first time and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jarryd Coetsee.

    Derived from the previously banned short story by South African investigative journalist and author Can Themba. The Suit is set in 1950s Sophiatown, Johannesburg, against the backdrop of the apartheid regime s forced removals under the Group Areas Act. The film tells the story of Philemon who discovers his wife, Matilda, in bed with a lover. The lover flees, leaving behind his suit. Philemon devises a cruel punishment, by forcing Matilda to treat the suit as a guest who must eat with them, go on walks and accompany them to church. The story is a powerful metaphor for the impact of oppression on personal relationships. It also explores how unforgiveness, intolerance and revenge are paradoxically self-destructive.

    The Suit features Naledi Theatre award winner Atandwa Kani as Philemon, rising star Phuthi Nakene as Matilda and Tony award-winner John Kani as Mr. Maphikela.

    Themba s short story was first published in the inaugural issue of the Classic, a South African literary journal, in 1963. Mothobi Mutloatse and Barney Simon adapted the story into a play by the same name, first presenting it in 1994 at Johannesburg s Market Theatre. The short story has been studied at South African high schools. French playwright/screenwriter Marie-H l ne Estienne and leading British playwright Peter Brook presented their French translation/adaptation of the play, Le Costume, at Th tre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris in 1999 and presented a new version in Paris in 2012. The play toured the world till 2014. South African screenwriter/director Jarryd Coetsee adapted and directed the first film version of The Suitand it was produced by the National Film and Video Foundation in association with Mandala Films in 2016.

    The film was shot in original buildings in Sophiatown which survived the demolition following the forced removals. The Friends of the James Hall Transport Museum supplied a period bus which actually drove the Sophiatown route in the 1950s. Original and hand-made costumes were supplied by award-winning costume designer Pierre Vienings. Gallo Music has licensed several songs from the period by Spokes Mashiyane, who was one of the greatest pennywhistle artists to grace the South African kwela music scene in the 1950s, and along with Universal Music and Peer Music, Gallo has also licensed Billie Holiday s legendary blues/jazz croon Strange Fruit.


  • Restless Global and Ten10 Films have announced that they had signed a development deal with broadcaster CANAL+ OVERSEAS on their TV series project THE TRADE.

    Created by Restless Global’s Marie Lora-Mungai and Ten10 Films’ Tendeka Matatu, THE TRADE (10 x 1 hour) is a crime drama inspired by real facts and based on extensive on-the-ground research. The story follows a high-stakes investigation into the murky world of the West African drug trade, and is set mainly in Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and France.

    Media veterans Tendeka Matatu and Marie Lora-Mungai, who also co-founded the Africa-focused talent agency Restless Talent Management, are banking on the roaster of A-list African talent that they represent to bring African content to another level. They are currently developing a broad slate of TV and film projects.

    Thanks to the support of CANAL+ OVERSEAS, Restless Global and Ten10 Films are currently working on the first 3 scripts of THE TRADE with Nigerian screenwriter Kemi Adesoye (writer of the feature films FIGURINE and PHONE SWAP, and the TV series SHUGA Season 3, TINSEL, and HOTEL MAJESTIC).

    “Our ambition with THE TRADE is to create a TV series set in Africa that can rival the best series in Europe or in the US, while bringing a world that has never been seen before on screen to global audiences,” said Lora-Mungai and Matatu. “THE TRADE is a sophisticated, complex story with a very wide scope, and we’re excited to have found such a committed and experienced partner as CANAL+ OVERSEAS on this project.”

    The deal illustrates CANAL+ OVERSEAS’ commitment to support and invest in ambitious African projects that have the potential to travel beyond the continent to attract international audiences.

     “As we expand in Sub-Saharan Africa, we look for high-end content from the continent.  THE TRADE is an ambitious project with great story lines and we’re glad to be associated on it with Restless Global and Ten 10 Films,” said François Deplanck, SVP Channels and Content at CANAL+ OVERSEAS.
    Source: Press Release

  • From July 4, MultiChoice Africa will make Deutsche Welle (DW) available to DStv and GOtv customers in Namibia.

    Deutsche Welle and MultiChoice have signed an agreement to broadcast DW on the pay TV platform, DStv and thereby bringing DW’s quality programming to German-speaking audiences throughout Southern Africa. It will be available to all DStv customers in 10 countries, (South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) throughout Africa, and on GOtv in Namibia.

    “MultiChoice is one of the most important pay television providers in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Petra Schneider, DW’s Director of Distribution. “This agreement helps us to reach new audiences and show them the quality programming that DW is known for.”
    DW provides an authentic connection to Germany and Europe with news and information in German 24/7. DW also, features talk shows and other programming from German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

    “MultiChoice is committed to making our exciting world of entertainment accessible to all our customers and to celebrate all nationalities across our platforms. It is with this commitment in mind that we’re now bringing a 24/7 version of DW in German in order to delight our German-speaking customers and those who would like to learn the language,” MultiChoice Namibia General Manager, Roger Gertze.

    Deutsche Welle will be available toDStv Premium, Compact +, Compact, Family and Access customers on DStv channel 446 and on all GOtv packages on channel 95 in Namibia.
    Source: Press Release

  • Your Future Is Not Mine, a global Adidas Originals short film directed by South African director Terence Neale, won a Gold Film Craft for Original Music at Cannes Lions, thanks to vocalist Daisy Hamel-Buffa and Squeak E Clean Productions.

    Your Future Is Not Mine won the only Gold in the Original Music category, while Neale was the only South African director whose work was awarded in the Craft categories.

    This follows Your Future Is Not Mine’s double-win at The Association of Independent Commercials Producers (AICP) Awards, where it again took home Best Original Music, as well as the prize for Best Agency Art Direction for Johannes Leonardo.

    Neale directed the short through RSA Films, who represent him in the UK and USA. Neale and his producers Dagny Warmerdam and Rozanne Rocha-Gray weren’t the only South Africans involved though; Johannes Leonardo’s chief creative officer Jan Jacobs and creative directors Wesley Phelan and Matthew Edwards all hail from SA.

    The campaign, which has over 6 million views on YouTube, challenges the dominant perception of the future being dystopian by inspiring a new generation to rather create their own. View the ad here:

  • Fundi-Mentals


    Joseph (Gerald Langiri) and his assistant Moses (Charlie Karumi) like to think of themselves as the Best Fundis in Kinoo, despite their unorthodox methods. But the entry of a new Multinational Service Company in town throws all this in jeopardy. To avoid going out of business, they introduce to their female customers a new type of sex-press service with hilarious results!
    You can watch the video right now on Buni+, just click here.

    No Jersey, No Match

    No Jersey, No Match is a short hilarious Nigerian film, written and produced by one of Africa’s prolific filmmakers Daniel Ademinokan. This film, puts a spin on what happens when you are not fully prepared for safe sex. Though educative, be prepared for suspense and laughter in this award winning film.
    You can watch the video right now on Buni+, just click here.

    The Once Beloved Nguni Heritage

    The Once Beloved Nguni Heritage is a documentary that tells a short history of the eroded Zulu culture. The documentary guides us through three stages of cultural practices carried out by the Zulu. The stages include Umhlonyana, which is the entry of a young girl into puberty, Umemulo, which is coming of age and Ukuqonywa Nombongo, which is, love proposal and the endorsement of love.
    You can watch the video right now on Buni+, just click here.


  • The Mozambican government intends to launch an international tender, this month, to select the company that will finance and implement the definitive project for digital migration.

    “Right now, we are working to comply with the rules for hiring services in Mozambique. Our hope is that we will conclude the process by the end of the year”, said the chairperson of the public operator of the digital television network, TMT, Victor Mbebe.

    Speaking to AIM in Beijing, during the sixth seminar on the development of digital television in Africa, Mbebe stressed that the definitive digital migration project should have already started, “but it was necessary to re-assess it”.

    As part of the re-assessment, the procurement will also be finalized, he added. Asked whether the Chinese company StarTimes Software Technology will participate, Mbebe said that, since this will be an international tender, StarTimes “will be free to bid”

    The winning company, Mbebe continued, “will advance with the financing and implementing of the definitive project”.

    This will come as a surprise to those who thought that the government already had a deal with Startimes. For, on 2 April 2014, the then Miniser of Transport and Communications, Gabriel Muthisse, and the chairperson of the Startimes board, Pang Xingxing, signed an agreement in Maputo, valued at 133 million US dollars, for implementing the second phase of a digital broadcasting system.

    The agreement should have allowed the construction of 24 transmission stations and digital installations for the public broadcasters, Radio Mozambique and Mozambican Television (TVM).

    At the time, Muthisse put the total cost of the migration from analog to digital systems at 300 million dollars and said that this sum was almost totally guaranteed. The money for the Startimes deal would come as a loan from the Eximbank of China – which helps explain why a Chinese company was chosen.

    The contract was not put out to tender. Muthisse said the government had contacted several partners, but only specifically mentioned Japan and China. “We opted for funding from the Chinese Eximbank, and that’s why we are working with Startimes”, he explained

    All countries were supposed to switch to digital systems by 2015. Muthisse stressed that the new system will be in place “so that by June 2015 we have everything ready to migrate from analog to digital”. But that deadline has been missed by a year.

    Right from the start, the Startimes deal was mired in controversy. The anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), warns that “without a public tender, there is no transparency”. Now, two years later, he original Startimes arrangement has been quietly pushed aside, and there will be a public tender.

    Mbebe told AIM that, despite the need to reassess the initial project, the migration from analogue to digital had never stopped, and last December a pilot project took off in Maputo. He said that transmitters have been installed in the three largest cities, Maputo, Beira e Nampula, and two others are now being set up in Quelimane and Tete.

    Under its cooperation with China, TVM has received a donation of eight transmitters. Mbebe said these arrived in Maputo in March, and a Chinese technical team is expected to arrive this month to assist in their installation.

    This equipment is intended for the frontier regions of Ponta do Ouro, Namaacha, Ressano Garcia, and Manica, all in Maputo province, and Milange, Mandimba, Zobue and Ulongwe, near the borders with Malawi. Mbebe believes that the pilot project will be concluded this year.

    He added that a further four transmitters are still being produced, and are expected to be ready by the end of August. They will go to the cities of Xai-Xai, Inhambane, Chimoio and Lichinga. This year, Mbebe expected to have all the provincial capitals covered, plus the eight transmitters in frontier areas.

    So far the pilot phase has cost about 3.5 million dollars. The cost of the definitive project will only be known once the winner of the international tender is announced.

    The new deadline for Mozambique completing digital migration is December 2016, but Mbebe admitted that “from the point of view of ending analogue broadcasting this deadline will not be met” – just as the earlier deadline of 17 June 2015, set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), had also been missed.

    But by December, Mbebe added, if everything goes according to plan, Mozambique will have all the pilot project transmitters fully functioning, and the international tender will have solved the financing issues. But this is only for television – there is still no date set for ending analogue broadcasting in radio.

    In the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, all countries except Angola have begun digital migration. Tanzania and Mauritius have completed the process, and South Africa is in the final stages.

    The Mozambican team at the Beijing seminar also includes the head of the government press office (GABINFO), Emilia Moiane, and the chairpersons of TVM and Radio Mozambique, Jaime Cuambe and Faruco Sidique.
    Source: TelcoTV News 29 June 2016

  • Increasing the trade that takes place between African countries plays an important part in furthering Africa's economic growth. PAMRO (the Pan African Media Research Organisation) believes that it is able to contribute meaningfully to the stimulation of greater trade between African countries, by working towards the harmonisation of media research across Africa.

    Media research provides critical insight into local consumers, and how best to reach them. It reveals which market segments are watching TV, listening to radio, or accessing information through print or digital means. It enables a company to tailor their marketing strategies to reach target audiences in the most effective way, and is therefore important to the success of many business enterprises.

    The whole purpose and importance of standardising media research across Africa is ultimately to develop confidence in the available research. Having research that is consistent, accurate and reliable, and that can be understood across borders, makes it easier and more attractive for brands to invest in the countries in question. It also enables a brand to compare how well it is doing across the countries in which it is active. Read the full story here:
    Source: Biz Community

  • Econet Media, the entertainment company, and subsidiary of the Econet Group has entered into a content partnership with T.D. Jakes Enterprises International, the company that’s led by United States pastor, author, and filmmaker Bishop TD Jakes.

    Under the new partnership Econet Media, through its platforms which include the internet TV service Kwesé TV, will distribute content from TD Jakes which includes his sermons, content from his ministry, as well as films and TV shows, across Africa.

    It won’t be just distribution, though. Unlike the other content partnerships that Econet Media has been signing for Kwesé TV(which have mostly been for sports content), the deal with TD Jakes also encompasses content creation from the fledgling media company.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: Techzim 20 June 2016

technology & convergence

  • Beijing — The giant network operator and content provider for TV broadcasting recently hosted the 6th African Digital Television Development Seminar in Beijing, China.

    China's most influential and one of the world's best system integrator, technology provider, network operator and content provider in television broadcasting industry - StarTimes group, has presented a medley of possibilities for Africa that could help the continent effectively switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting so as to reap the benefits of the mutation. The Chinese multinational media group on June 23-24, 2016 hosted the 6th African Digital TV Development Seminar in Beijing on the theme, "Making Digital TV more accessible and enjoyable in Africa".
    The forum was to share switchover possibilities (financing, technology and content build up) with the hope of arming the continent to meet the new deadline after that of 2015 given by the International Telecommunications Union hit the rocks.

    Financing The Mutation
    StarTimes group through the various presentations that characterized the Beijing seminar told African media stakeholders that different governments could either embrace the Public/Private Partnership Model or go in for concessional loans to effectively go digital. The former gives room for mutually-beneficial agreements wherein the operator finances, carries out the mutation and runs the channels for some time before handing them over to government. Here, StarTimes pledged her readiness for the self-financing part. With this, StarTimes would be the project's constructor, the issuance of licenses and frequencies shall be the responsibility of the State and the Project's Operation would be through a joint venture between the outfit and government. Meanwhile, the company's experts also advised African governments to go in for concessional loans with the government of China to realize the dream. These loans with a 2 per cent interest rate, they said, could have a 20-year repayment period with a five-eight year period of grace. Profitability is guaranteed through transmission fee from signal distribution for the local TV stations, subscription fee from terminal subscribers and advertising revenue from the advertisement clients, some of whom should be new investors attracted into business by the technological evolution.

    Content Is King!
    According to Pang Xinxing, President of StarTimes group, the content of any television programme determines its view ability. Like him, other experts advocated audiovisual media organs to "find your audience first, create for them, build a digital community, and then move to new levels of creative engagement with that audience." For success, questions like, 'Is it worth watching, is it relevant, is it locally adaptable, is the programme renewable, repeatable and scalable?' must be answered. "Content is king, signal coverage is God!" officials said.

    StarTimes covers 90 % of the Africa's population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors, with a featured content platform and 440 authorised channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children's programmes, fashion, religion et al. It combines satellite and terrestrial DTV systems to provide an open and secured digital wireless platform. A wealth of experience expected to boost the continent's irreversible move to digitalizing television broadcasting.
    Source: All Africa

  • Botswana has started distribution of 10,000 set-top boxes to support the transition to digital broadcasting. Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Dikgang Makgalemele said Botswana is ready to deliver digital television to homes and to other customer premises. Makgalemele said the terrestrial transmission infrastructure was complete, and information from Statistics Botswana and the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority suggests that there are approximately 500,000 households with at least one television set in Botswana, BOPA reported.

    Makgalemele explained that government through the department of broadcasting services has procured 10,000 units of which 6, 000 have been delivered as of May. For long-term supply in Botswana, government was engaging local manufacturers and suppliers to deliver the set-top boxes to the local market, as well as considering inviting foreign suppliers to service the nation.
    Source: Telecompaper 28 June 2016

  • EBS, the leading full-service provider of EPG data for platforms and channels worldwide, has announced that it is has been contracted by ITV Choice to supply EPG data listings to platforms in Africa and Asia. Part of ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Choice is the home of big British entertainment, packed full of award-winning drama, brilliant gameshows, star-filled entertainment and inspiring documentaries, available throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa, reaching over 100 countries.

    Using its unique multi-platform, multi-territory, scalable software solution, Pawa, EBS takes all the scheduling information for ITV Choice and restructures it to meet the requirements of the individual platforms. This fully integrated data workflow provides the channel with a write-once-publish-many capability.

    As well as the EPG data, EBS is also providing ITV Choice with high-quality programme images that reflect the expectations of today’s viewers across multiple channels and platforms. EBS’ image team ensures that images are rights-approved for appropriate territories enabling ITV Choice to maintain editorial control with images associated with its brand.
    Source: Light Reading 27 June 2016

  • Today, our society has become more and more information based, thus it is our mission to promote African Digital Migration, says Mr. Pang Xinxing, President of StarTimes Group in China.

    He described the friendship between China and Africa as cordial, noting that China has been extending support to Africa to boost their economy.

    Mr. Pang was speaking on Thursday at the opening of the 6th African Digital TV Seminar held in Beijing, China.

    The two-day seminar was hosted by StarTimes and it provided an important platform for delegates from various countries to share their experiences and suggestions on the promotion of digital migration in Africa.

    Over 300 delegates from 39 countries, including ministers of broadcasting & TV   administrations, heads of national TV stations from African countries, attended the conference.

    In order to provide opportunities for African delegates to consult on financing issues in digital migration, the seminar also invited leaders of financial institutions like Export-Import Bank of China, China-Africa Development Fund, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation to the meeting.

    Mr. Pang added that the forum was meant to discuss with their African counterparts on how to make digital TV in Africa more digitalised. Therefore, he went on, people in the rural areas should have equal right on getting information and by pulling their weight, they would witness the digitilisation of their media.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: The Observer June27 2016

  • NATIONAL Microfinance Bank (NMB) has launched a product that would help subscribers with Star Times Tanzania Limited pay subscription fees through the bank.

    Speaking shortly after the launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam, the NMB Acting Head of Personal Banking, Mr Boma Raballa, said the cooperation would make it possible for subscribers with Star Times to pay for their fees through mobile phones and NMB branches across the network using NBM mobile platforms.

    He said that the bank has fully accommodated Star Times within NMB mobile and the entire branch network in the country not that the service is convenient and safe for customers to use.

    “Mobile money banking services has become paramount important for national development and brings our customers closer to our services as they can pay their subscription fees and other bills at the comfort of their homes through their mobile phone via NMB mobile,” he noted.

    Star Times Customer Senior Manager Mr Gasper Ngowi said that the partnership clearly demonstrates the revolutionary role that a Bank and Pay TV company can play while simplifying payments for their customers and communities in general. With the move, both NMB and non NMB customers can pay their Star Times subscription fees through NMB mobile and NMB branches.

    “Tanzanians in both urban and rural areas can now easily manage their finances, business as well as simplify their economic activities at all times through their mobile phones,” said Mr Ngowi.
    Source: Daily News 29 June 2016

regulation & policy

  • StarTimes Group, one of the two TV signal distributors in Kenya, has come under fire in Zambia for seeking to control the state broadcaster and allegedly excluding rivals from the digital TV market.

    This follows the signing of a new deal worth US$271million allowing it to take over the public broadcaster, Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation for 25 years.

    Questions were raised over the way it was awarded a tender in 2013 to roll out a digital terrestrial TV network similar to the one it has in Kenya.

    Zambia’s government cancelled that tender citing irregularities.

    The tender covered the design, supply and commissioning of the country’s national DTT system.

    Local reports at the time cited irregularities in the way the tender was handled by Zambia’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Services. Yet, despite a legacy of abnormalities, the tender in Zambia has yet again been mysteriously given to Star Times – with even more dire consequences to the broadcasting industry in Zambia.

    The contract worth millions of dollars also involves the signing of a joint venture agreement between StarTimes and the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation – allowing StarTimes to control the public broadcaster networks.

    “The fact that government is handing control of its national broadcaster to a foreign company is detrimental to the sovereignty of the Zambian nation,” The Zambian Watchdog publication reports.

    StarTimes has also gotten into trouble in Malawi for entering a deal with the government which would have seen it take over the state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. In Ghana, StarTimes is currently engaged in litigation with the Ghana government over a cancelled DTT contract.

    Many African state broadcasters are facing financial woes as they struggle to compete with newer privately-owned operations making them soft targets for global players. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was recently declared insolvent by the Auditor General with mounting debt standing at Sh41billion.

    “It will lead to dire financial consequences for the ZNBC while giving StarTimes tax breaks, access to land, and takes jobs away from locals,” Lusaka-based reporter Charles Tonga adds.

    The Zambian Watchdog report says StarTimes seems determined to exclude all other market players as they want to control DTT on an exclusive basis – thus killing off any potential growth in the television and film sector of the economy which normally sees growth during digital migration.

    StarTimes did not respond to our request for comment.
    Source: The Star 17 June 2016

  • The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said that 40 percent of all advertisements aired by broadcasters should be locally produced by the end of February 2017. CA Multimedia Services Director Leo Boruett told a broadcaster's forum in Nairobi that the previous 01 July deadline was extended after consultations with the advertising industry. Read the full story here:
    Source: Telecompaper 28 June 2016


  • Nigerias Eko International Film Festival to launch film institute

    The annual Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) is to launch a film institute during its 7th edition which will be held between 24 and 29 October 2016. The institute is billed to fill the gap between the new entrants into the Nollywood film industry and established practitioners.

    EKOIFF is Nigeria s leading international film festival in the coastal megacity of Lagos in southwestern Nigeria. The mission of EKOIFF is to promote the appreciation of arts and culture through the motion picture, arts and sciences, and increase tourism in the global village.

    The launch of the film institute will take place during the festivals Youth Development in Art workshop:

    The two-day workshop in youth development in arts aims to inspire the youth. Arts can turn around a troubled teenager; get young men and women off the streets into creative and constructive pursuit. Art can change attitude, build self-esteem and redirect the path of wayward, art can also prevent despair, says the EKOIFF website. The workshops will engage young men and women in a more meaningful way to look inside themselves to rediscover their potentials.

    Training Modules:






    For more information visit the Eko International Film Festival website.

  • South Africa - SABC CEO Jimi Matthews resigns

    According to Tech Central, veteran journalist and SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews has quit, saying in his resignation letter that what is happening at the state-owned broadcaster is wrong and that he can no longer be a part of it.

    Matthews tweeted a copy of his resignation letter on Monday morning, 27 June 2016. It is with great sadness that I tender my immediate resignation, he wrote in the letter, which is addressed to SABC board chairman Obert Maguvhe. For many months I have compromised the values that I hold dear under the mistaken belief that I could be more effective inside the SABC than outside, passing comment from the sidelines, he wrote.

    In the process, the prevailing, corrosive atmosphere has impacted negatively on my moral judgment and has made me complicit in many decisions which I am not proud of, he continued. I wish also to apologise to the many people who I ve let down by remaining silent when my voice needed to be heard, he wrote.
    Source: 4rfv 28 June 2016

    Communications Minister Faith Muthambi fires back at former CEO Jimi Matthews over 'suspicious' timing of SABC resignation

    Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says her ministry has full confidence in the board of the SABC.

    The department of communications has slammed former acting SABC chief executive Jimi Matthews over the timing of his resignation, labelling it “suspect”.

    Matthews resigned suddenly on Monday, citing a “corrosive atmosphere” at the broadcaster and describing his “compromised values”.

    In a statement released on Tuesday, the ministry expressed its surprise at the public disclosure of the resignation.

    “The minister of communications, Ms Faith Muthambi has noted with concern the sudden resignation of the former SABC acting group chief executive officer, Mr Jimi Matthews on social media,” the statement read.

    “Mr Matthews was appointed to this position because of his credentials to steer the SABC towards a commendable direction.

    “It is unfortunate that Mr Matthews decided to turn his resignation into a social media issue, without raising his concerns internally, nor communicating his concerns with the ministry of communications.”

    New acting chief executive, ‘no revolt’
    The decision to quit found support with Pippa Green, former SABC head of radio news and board member.

    The state broadcaster moved quickly to appoint James Aguma as new acting group chief executive.

    Board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe on Tuesday said that there was “no revolt at the SABC”.

    Three SABC journalists were suspended last week and the organisation has been criticised for its decision not to show footage of violent protests.

    “The timing of his resignation is suspect. As the ministry of communications we have full confidence in the board of the SABC; that it will calm the situation and steer the broadcaster into the right direction. A stable and functional SABC is in the interest of all of us. We believe that normality will prevail.”

    The ministry criticised some individuals for “seeking to politicise” SABC matters, saying it was unfortunate that some were looking to score political points.

    “The SABC coverage plan for the local government elections 2016 is still in place and will be covered as scheduled,” said the ministry.
    Source: News 24 29 June 2016

  • Events


    Quoting notable nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, "film festivals help to increase the mileage and patronage of our local movies in the global village and they allow movie aficionados to converge and have one to one interactions, which give room for synergy, co-productions and collaborations.’’(1)

    The Cannes festival and others such as Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance International Film Festival (USA), FESPACO in Burkina Faso and the Nigerian based African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) provide African film producers ample opportunity to showcase their finest cinematic output and potentials.

    The two Discop Africa (in Johanesburg and Abidjan) and MIPTV/MIPcom are the main markets for TV programme sales.

    The Loeries and Cristal are dedicated to advertising mainly.

    Note: This list is not exhaustive, and there is almost one african film festival per year in key countries around the World: in large African countries, the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, etc.

    To advertise your event on this section, please ontact us. You can also rent a banner space.


    16-26 June 2016

    Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)
    Africa’s premier film event, the Durban International Film Festival, which is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, presents its 37th edition from 16 to 26 June, 2016, in the east coast city of Durban, South Africa.
    Arguably the continent’s biggest film event, which attracts both film-lovers and industry representatives from across Africa and beyond, the DIFF is a ten day celebration of world class cinema which screens new feature, documentary and short films from around the globe with a special focus on African film. The festival also includes the Wavescape Surf Film Festival as well as important industry initiatives featuring a programme of seminars and workshops with notable industry figures, the 8th Talents Durban (in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents) and the 6th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).
    The festival is a hub for the African film industry and is an unmissable date for both industry representatives and lovers of film.
    We are very busy getting ready for DIFF 2016. The 37th edition will be better than ever, so please check back for more information over the coming weeks. The full programme


    July 2016 : European Championship - ootball 2016

    Aug. 2016 : The Rio 2016 Olympics (5-21 Aug) and Paralympics (7-18 Sep)


    15-21 August 2016
    Durban - South Africa
    The Loeries® are the biggest industry gathering in Africa Middle East that recognises, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the brand communication space. As the highest accolade in the region, the Loeries focus on rewarding creativity, innovation and relevance across all spheres of brand communication from traditional advertising, architecture to music videos or even service design. 

    30 September to 2 October 2016 (date tbc)
    African Cristal Festival

    In a region undergoing such tremendous changes and where brands are becoming an essential part of the African identity, the African Cristal stands as the first Summit for Media & Communications dedicated to the African continent. This event aims to bring together the entire media & communication industry to network and to promote regional culture through dedicated competitions, conferences and debates.

    October 2016

    The world's entertainment content market
    Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France

    See more here>>

    18 - 20 October 2016 Sheraton Hotel and Towers

    Abuja - Nigeria
    Africast was introduced in 1996 by the National Broadcasting Commission, the broadcast regulator in Nigeria. Africast has grown over the years to be the gateway to Africa's broadcast and media market. Africast is the platform on which broadcast issues as they relate to Africa are thrashed out biennially by professionals, academics and policy makers. It is also the market for manufacturers of broadcast equipment and publishers of content who are targeting the emerging African market.

    2-4 November 2016
    SANDTON CONVENTION CENTRE - 161 Maude St, Sandton 2196. Johannesburg, South Africa.
    TV Programs Market: The largest market in Francophone Africa , and creative forum for television programs, TV channels , broadcast technologies and other audiovisual subjects - more than 500 delegates expected , conferences , debates, round tables, floor trade stands and much more ... not to be missed !

    13-20 novembre 2016 
    The African International Film Festival (AFRIFF 2016)

    Nigeria, Tinapa - Calabar Free Trade Zone
    The main film festival in Nigéria.

    15-17 November 2016
    AfricaCom / AfricaCast / TV Connect Africa 2016

    AfricaCom and TV Connect Africa , two essential events for the digital economy in Africa. Approximately 8,000 participants in 2014.
    Ideal for promoting innovation, sell solutions and seal partnerships with telcos content .
    See more here


    25 Feb. to 4 March 2017
     - The 
    Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou
    The 25e edition of THE main African film festival.
    Burkina Faso.

    June 2017Discop Africa
    Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

    THE main film, TV and digital content market dedicated to Francophone Africa with conferences, networking sessions, projections, local stars and debates. Over 1000 delegates in 2016.

    June 2017
    Nollywood Week Film Festival

    Paris, France. The place to go re. Nollywood and African films in Francophone Africa. The best festival for Nollywood films in French! Actors, filmakers, distributeurs attend it. Last year, top nollywood films were shown - e.g. The CEO (2016) - Directed by Kunle Afolayan.





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