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Africa seeks world class electronic media industry

Players in Africa's broadcasting and film industry are set to meet in Kenya this July to discuss how to realise a competitive and modern electronic media industry on the continent. Hundreds of senior managers, and broadcast experts of Africa's electronic media houses, advertising and marketing firms are expected to converge in Nairobi, to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the industry between 6-7 July 2011.
The delegates will meet at the third Broadcast and Film Africa Conference, under the theme; "Building a world-class electronic media industry". According to Judith Omundo, the conference coordinator, the meeting comes on the back drop of the proliferation new ways in which broadcast programming can be received by its audiences including; satellite, IP-TV, PC and mobile. This closely follows the liberalisation of the media industry in some African countries.

Traditional market fragmenting

She argues that the number of channels and the ways of receiving programming has begun to fragment the traditional market. "African broadcasters need to find new ways to sustain their audiences and attract new advertising," she said in an email to announce details of the conference week.

"African government broadcasters are particularly threatened by the new media landscape. Largely without funding they have to deliver public service obligations like coverage and at the same time, compete ever more fiercely in the market for premium rights, audiences and advertisers."

According to Omundo, the final liberalisation broadcast markets that have not yet opened up for competition, promises fast growth and penetration like has been experienced in the mobile industry. Just under 26 or half of Africa's markets have opened up to competition while many remain closed. Countries that have opened up include; Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Africa, among others.

Various topics to be discussed

Delegates at the Nairobi conference will, among other topics, discuss; innovative approaches to digital migration for radio and television broadcasters, the cost-effective broadcast opportunities for the smaller African content provider, Africa's fragmenting media landscape - Changes in audiences and advertising, and the critical consumer factors in mobile television.

The meeting will draw speakers and participants from within Africa and across the globe from countries such as the United Kingdom, India, Luxembourg, Nigeria and South Africa.

Notable discussants at the conference will include; Dr Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications in Kenya, Arthur Goldstuck, MD World Wide Worx, South Africa, Phil Collins, MD, Clyde Broadcast Products, United Kingdom, Rodney Benn, managing sales director, Intelsat, Linus Gitahi, group CEO, Nation Media Group, Kenya and Russell Southwood, CEO, Balancing Act, United Kingdom.

About Walter Wafula

Walter Wafula is a seasoned journalist who has reported for the Daily Monitor newspaper in Kampala-Uganda. He is also a contributor on website. Email Walter at moc.oohay@tlawfaw and connect on LinkedIn.
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