Returning to China after a decade or so absence is a thrilling experience. It can also be an arduous task. In any case, the drag wears off, when we step out from the new wing of the international Beijing airport for a 10 conference session with some 140 media executives from Africa and China.
The Director-General of Natcom, Mohamed Bangura and myself, kick-started the first programme with a one day meeting of the second forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation which took in the charming Tanzania’s Information, Youth, Culture and Sports minister, Fenella Mukangara.
She called for ”deeper relations and strategic cooperation and partnership between African and Chinese media”.
Chinese vice-Foreign minister, Zhang Ming in his address, described the forum as ”a channel to deepen exchanges and cooperation in the sectors of the media, enrich cultural and people-to-people exchanges and promote the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership under the theme – deepening common development through exchange and co-operation.”
The session discussed extensively discussed issues of media policies and regulations, media exchange, and cooperation which according to Martine Conde, President of the Guinean National Communications Council is ”a new starting point for joint efforts and plan for future growth which will have profound and positive influence on China-Africa media cooperation.”
Ten agreements were signed on the ministerial level by Information ministers and Information gurus from Guinea, Tanzania, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Morrocco, DR Congo, Uganda and Nigeria.
Next assignment was the three day meeting of the agenda for the 4th African Digital TV Development Seminar which took centre stage with opening statements from Li Wei, Minister of Publicity, Department of Beijing Municipal Committee, Liu Yuzhu, Assistant Minister and Director of Culture as well as Wang Fade, Deputy General Manager, Concessional Loan Department of the Chines Exim Bank.
The President of Star Times Group, Pang Xinxing lectured on “Digitalization in Broadcasting and TV industry in Africa and the construction of industrial environment’ while Professor John Nkoma, Director of Tanzania’s Communications Regulatory Authority spoke on the ”experience of analog digital broadcasting migration”.
The session heard over 50 speakers from British, French and Asiatic experts who are current with the digital migration process to highlight the message of the transition to digital migration on the cut-off date from analog in June, 2015, which is touted as a first generation reform.
As Mozambican Transport and Communications Minister Gabriel Muthisse stressed, ”digital transmission can bring specialized channels for HIV/Aids, Malaria, protection of women and child rights through which the media can play a meaningful role to promote national unity and social cohesion and maintain a level of competition.”
For Professor Zhang from the University of Beijing ”one of the new concept for the media is that it should re-construct not destruct. If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to achieve success, go together.”
”The media can serve as a means of development in the society, creating awareness and mobilizing resources.’’
Tuesday July 01, 2014