CTO Conference examined progress in digital migration in Africa
CTO reported that over one hundred broadcasting experts and ICT leaders congregated at the Southern Sun Grayston Hotel in Johannesburg from the 1-3 February 2011, to discuss and deliberate on the progress made in the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting in Africa. Organised by the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunication’s Organisation (CTO), the conference seeked to address issues of policy and regulation, the adoption of the new European standard DVB-T2, funding mechanisms, technology, international frequency planning, the Digital Dividend, among others.
Hon Roy Padayachie, Minister of Communications, South Africa, was expected to deliver the keynote address and officially open the conference, with speaker representations from the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), Lesotho Communication Authority, Department of Communications, South Africa, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation and Botswana Telecommunications Authority, who also shared their experiences at the conference.
Speaking about the challenges faced by African countries in its digital switchover strategy, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of CTO said, “The migration from analogue to digital technologies can be a challenging one for a continent as large as Africa. However, shared best practices from ‘digital-ready’ countries can help alleviate some of the challenges faced during the migration. While these are challenges that are not new to any country that has gone through a digital switchover, in Africa it also addresses its socio-economic developmental needs, thereby bringing it closer to the Millennium Development Goals. It also creates new opportunities that of deploying advanced technologies and building electronic manufacturing hubs to meet the upcoming demands of needs such as a set-box.”
Emphasising on the need for such forums, Dr. Mashilo Boloka, Director of Broadcasting Policy, Department of Communications, Republic of South Africa said, “As an annual event, CTO’s Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum has over the years provided a strategic platform for sharing of information and new learnings on the implementation of digital broadcasting migration on the continent. The forum’s ability to attract speakers beyond the African continent ensures that information shared is relevant for countries at the various phases of migration.”
Representative country experiences and reports on the migration from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and Israel were presented at the conference.
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