"Investment In Digital Media Infrastructure Delivers Universal Access!" – Arthur Asiimwe, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA)
Arthur Asiimwe, the Director-General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, says that in order for Africa's broadcasters to provide universal access, the first thing they need to do is invest in the necessary digital infrastructure.
Mr Asiimwe, responding to questions from Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), in preparation for the Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa taking place on the 29th – 31st October 2019 in Victoria Falls, Zambia, also added that African broadcasters need to stand together and urge their respective governments to catch up with the rest of the world by fast-tracking the digital migration process.
Below is an excerpt of our conversation with Arthur Asiimwe on the forthcoming industry Convention, where he would be joining the strategic industry leaders panel:
BMA: Why did you decide to get involved in The Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa And 27th SABA Annual General Meeting?
Arthur: I decided to join this Convention because it will be discussing a timely and vital topic for Africa's broadcasters. Digital migration is still lagging behind across the continent. ITU deadlines have repeatedly been missed. As African broadcasters, we need to raise our voices strongly and call on our respective Governments to see this issue as part of their national priorities.
BMA: In your opinion, how can broadcasters provide universal access to digital broadcast services in Africa?
Arthur: The starting point is investment in digital infrastructure. And this investment has to be Government-led because it would be too expensive for broadcasters to mobilize resources for such massive projects without assistance. Once the infrastructure is in place, broadcasters can start sharing infrastructure amongst themselves at affordable or subsidized rates.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Arthur: I would like participants to walk away with a better understanding of how we can accelerate digital switch-on across Africa and the various ways that we make it affordable for consumers. I would also like everyone to leave informed about what content is going to run within the digital space and if it is African content or foreign material. It would be an added bonus if we could all go back to our respective areas with new ideas on how to better share content among African broadcasters
About Arthur Asiimwe: For the past six years, Mr Arthur Asiimwe has been the Director-General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), the national public broadcaster of Rwanda that carries both television and radio networks across the country.
As DG, Mr Asiimwe doubles as the Editor-in-Chief of the national broadcaster andalso oversees day-to-day operational/managerial obligations of the institution that runs two TV channels and eight radio stations with slightly over 300 employees.
He is currently the Vice-Chairman of African Union of Broadcasters (AUB), a formerChairman of Media High Council of Rwanda, and also currently chairs the board of Rwanda Printing and Publishing Company Ltd (RPPC) that publishes Imvaho Newspaper.
He also serves on the board of The New Times Publication.
He will be speaking at The Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa in his capacity as the Director-General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.