Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says African public broadcasters have dismally failed to tell the story of the continent to the world.

Dlodlo says people around the world, including the African diaspora are unaware of African cultures, languages and traditions due to the failure of public broadcasters to educate and inform them.

She was giving a keynote address at the 5th Africa and Digitalisation Conference in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

At least 150 leaders in broadcasting, IT businesses and governments are gathered in the capital to review progress made among
Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, in their migration to Digital Terrestrial Television.

Dlodlo told delegates that it was the responsibilities of public broadcasters not only to tell our stories, but also to find money and all other necessary resources to do so.

“It is our responsibility as broadcasters to inform the people, even those in diaspora about our continent. We as broadcasters are
denying them of their ancestral rights to know their continent and their origins, ” says Dlodlo.

The Minister says although SADC countries are making progress towards Digital Terrestrial Television migration, much work still lies ahead.

“We have made some strides and some progress in rolling out DTT for our people for higher speed quality services, at affordable rates.”

Other leaders also concurred that SADC states have a long way to go.

“They say although SADC countries are going through difficult financial times as a result of their stagnant economies and other issues, migrating to DTT is inevitable. They also argue that it can kick start the much talked about industrialisation of the continent,” says SADC IT and Communications Representative Cecilia Mamelodi Onyadile.

Other issues under discussions include the role of social media and the future of public broadcasters.

Another elephant in the room is the cost of migrating from analogue to DTT. Other delegates suggested that SADC countries should rather consider sharing some resources such as transmissions in order to bring down costs, and ensure that their services are accessible to the people.

– By Manelisi Dubase