Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ndukwe speaks @ ‘09 Digital Switchover forum

The chief executive officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has been slated to thrill participants among other guest speakers, at the fourth annual Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum, which returns to South Africa this week.

Ndukwe is to feature in the regulatory discussion at the annual Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum, which opens tomorrow, February 3, 2009, at the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg and organised by the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).

Manager, International Events & Corporate Communications, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, Mr. Samuel Fletcher, told Champion Infotel that over 150 delegates are expected to grace the three-day event.

Fletcher in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel said that Dr. Ndukwe would be discussing alongside Dr. Ham-Mukasa Mulira, Minister of ICT, Uganda; Hon Fatim Badjie Janneh, Minister of Communications, The Gambia; Hon. Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Lesotho; Norman Ndivhuho Muzhelele, Acting Deputy Director General, Department of Communications, Government of South Africa; Paris Mashile, Chairman, ICASA; Hon Eng A. B. Kowero, Director of Communication, Ministry of Communications Science and Technology, Tanzania; Major (Rtd) John Tandoh, Ex-Director-General, National Communications Authority, Ghana. Other speakers are Daniel Obam, Chairman, Digital Migration Taskforce, Kenya; Bernard Forson Jr, Director-General, National Communications Authority, Ghana; Trilock Dwarka, Chairman, Information and Communication Techologies Authority, Mauritius in the ministerial and regulatory discussions.

He also said that the three-day event, scheduled for February 3 through 5, would address major issues relating to the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Some of the issues anticipated to form the agenda include the impact and implications of dual illumination; the process whereby countries broadcast on both analogue and digital systems, practical insights into the ongoing implementation, understanding the Pan African policy, regulatory and operational context for digital broadcasting, and the special regulatory challenges within a transformational broadcasting environment.

Equally, he noted that part of the deliberations would focus on creating an enabling innovative environment for the broadcasting industry, the developmental impact of digitization and defining the digital future for African broadcasting as well as a special focus day on the last day to examine digital content production and distribution.

Fletcher quoted the Chief Executive Officer, CTO, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, as saying that the event has been used by the CTO to create an enabling platform over the years to help bring stakeholders in the industry together to exchange ideas and benchmark strategies for an effective switchover.

Spio-Garbrah pointed out that at a time of a global economic crunch that is dampening investment in innovation and new technology adoption, African countries face a special challenge in proceeding with the necessary policy, legislation, legal, operational, technological, managerial, editorial and creativity implications of the digital revolution in the broadcast industry.

“With technological convergence, the entry of telephone and Information Technology (IT) companies into the broadcast space and the growing access to mobile communications of Africans, there are also tremendous opportunities for discerning investors in this field,” he said.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah assured on CTO’s commitment and determination to continue to play a leading role in ensuring that Africa as a continent is not left behind in the technological revolution taking place around the world.

CTO is an international development partnership between Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth governments, business and civil society organisations.

Also, it provides the international community with effective means to help bridge the digital divide and achieve social and economic development, by delivering to developing countries unique knowledge-sharing programmes in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the specific areas of telecommunications, IT, broadcasting and the Internet.

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