The 3rd forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation is opening up opportunities for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to enter into co-production on matters of mutual interest and training with the People’s Republic of China.
Speaking to SAnews at the forum, which is currently underway in Beijing, China, SABC’s chief financial officer James Aguma said the forum was significant.
“The significance of this forum is two-fold…firstly…it is very important for us to understand how other broadcasters are serving their people’s informational and educational needs.
“We are also here to explore areas of cooperation in the broadcasting industry.”
He said there were opportunities for co-production and sharing of experiences in the technological fields – especially as South Africa is in the process of migrating from an analogue to a digital broadcasting system.
“The exchange of programmes will certainly cover culture, tourism programme to promote people to relations.”
He added that the Chinese have an open policy with regards to capacity building, so it would be important to enter into a training exchange programme with them.
Aguma said as the public broadcaster, they are spot on in terms of broadcasting 90% local content.
“What I have learned from the Chinese is that they are very proud about their culture and language because almost 98% of all broadcasting content is local,” he said.
Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting Director General Donald Liphoko said there is a growing need for Ministers of Information and Communication to start laying a concrete foundation for ICT think-tanks comprising policy, regulatory and technology professionals to harness the skills available on the continent.
He said this would assist in producing relevant policy-driven studies on the effects of technology to benefit the continent and its citizenry.
“I’m saying this because we’re seized with online child protection matters. The internet presents new and complex challenges of content classification and as policy makers we need to respond appropriately.
“We need to ensure that our countries have sound guidelines that are suitable to the dynamic nature of the Internet, and also appropriate recourse when faced with undesirable content,” he said.