African media houses should share content

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Acting GCIS Director General Donald Liphoko.

Beijing - Africa needs to establish a hub where content providers from media houses across the continent can tell their own African stories, says Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting Director General Donald Liphoko.

Liphoko delivered a speech on behalf of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation, in Beijing, on Tuesday. 

“Our continent urgently needs to establish a content hub where our content providers can interact for continued enhanced content provision in order for us to tell our own stories.

“The Information and Communications Ministers in attendance [will] closely inspect the broadcasting model employed by China Central Television International 24-hour news channel. 

“This should be done with a concerted view on how such a model can find confluence on the Africa TV Bouquet system in order to achieve not only a shared information hub, but investment in skills development and human capital in broadcasting,” said Liphoko.

He said as the continent moves from analogue to digital broadcasting, the China-Africa forum is also providing opportunities for countries to share their individual experiences on the migration and learn from experts from Africa and China and beyond on various important topics on broadcasting migration.

This year's China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum comes against the backdrop of the notable progress made on the economic front during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa last year.

The inception of FOCAC in 2000 was a historical milestone in the history of China-Africa relations. The forum gave both sides an opportunity to engage as a collective in pursuit of a common agenda that is cognizant of the desire and intention of both sides to abide by principles of mutual respect, equality and benefit.

“The first ministerial meeting of FOCAC in 2000 set the pace and course of our development and cooperation through the two conference documents, namely the Beijing Declaration and the Program for China-Africa Cooperation on Economic and Social Development,” said Liphoko.

He said the theme for the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation, “Win–win Cooperation, Common Development”, is fitting for the gathering, as the main aim is to implement the agreements reached at the FOCAC Summit in South Africa. It is also meant as a platform to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa on media related matters.

Exchanging best practices

He said there is a lot that Africa and China can learn from each other such as media policies and regulations in China and Africa, and media cooperation and capacity building.

The initiative, Liphoko said, should culminate in exchange programmes focusing on digital content for community and small commercial beneficiaries being trained to prepare media for broadband and digitalisation of broadcasting.

“All of us carry the aspirations of the billion Africans inspired by Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Our continent has enjoyed a warm and cordial relationship with the People’s Republic of China for many years. China's struggle for freedom inspired many African struggles for freedom against colonial oppression.

“South Africa’s overall medium to long-term strategic objective with regard to FOCAC, as co-chair, is to work closely with China to ensure that future FOCAC declarations and action plans are effectively implemented in line with the AU’s Agenda for Regional and Continental Integration and Development through its flagship programmes -- the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Agenda 2063, including the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063,” Liphoko said.

Last year, China and South Africa signed 25 agreements worth a combined value of US $16.5 billion at an event at the FOCAC Business Forum held in South Africa and attended by about 400 business people from both countries.

Some of the priorities agreed upon relate to the alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa's industrialisation process; enhancement of cooperation in Special Economic Zones; marine cooperation; infrastructure development, human resources cooperation and financial cooperation. -