“Regulatory Intervention Should Be Geared Towards Growing Africa’s Broadcast Industry” – Bathopi Luke, Director of Broadcasting Regulation -BOCRA
Bathopi Luke, the Director of Broadcasting Regulation at Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), says that broadcasters in Africa need to stop looking to industry regulators solely for command and control.
Mr Bathopi Luke, responding to questions from Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), in preparation for The Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa And 27th SABA Annual General Meeting taking place on the 29th – 31st October 2019 in Victoria Falls, Zambia, explained that as Africa’s broadcast industry moves into a digital age, regulatory intervention should be geared more towards growing broadcast services rather than being purely about broadcast laws.
Below is an excerpt of the conversation Bathopi had with BMA on the forthcoming Convention where he is participating in a panel discussion session:
BMA: Why did you decide to get involved in The Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa And 27th SABA Annual General Meeting?
Bathopi Luke: I have in the past participated in SABA events, and I have found them to be very useful as they address the contemporary issues in the broadcasting sector, especially in the context of our region. This year’s meeting emphasises on the phenomenon that is sweeping across the entire communications industry, including broadcasting, and that is “convergence”. We need to share ideas on how we can ride this wave in our region, and I believe as a regulator, I will benefit from being a part of this Convention.
BMA: In your opinion, how can Africa’s broadcast industry enhance regulatory capabilities in the age of ubiquitous digital media content?
Bathopi Luke: As Africa, we should approach regulation away from command and control; this is no longer a problem. We will certainly lose the battle trying to pursue this objective. We need to think more about the development of the industry. For example, the various methods that can be used to enable more people to have access to more content. Any regulatory intervention should be geared towards growing services.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Bathopi Luke: As we accept that the world has been globalised, and content does not know any border, collaborations are essential going forward. No problem is unique, and through collaboration, we can work together for a better Southern Africa. As Regulators and broadcasters, we can only advance the industry when we work together. That is a thought that I want participants to take with them from this Convention.
About Bathopi Luke: Bathopi Luke is the Director of Broadcasting Regulation at Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA). He is charged with the responsibility of developing the broadcasting sector in Botswana within the confines of the Botswana legislation. His biggest passion is to see more operators and utilising technological advancements to redefine broadcasting. He also advocates for more competition in the sector in order for the consumer to reap the benefits subsequent benefits of variety, affordability and quality of services. Some of his greatest achievement is the liberalisation of the broadcasting platforms in Botswana and ushering new services into the sector.
He has also worked as a Telecommunications Compliance Director responsible for the monitoring of Quality of Service and Experience for telecoms mobile and fixed networks.
He will be speaking at SABA’s Broadcasting Convention of Southern Africa in his capacity as the Director of Broadcasting Regulation at Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority.