Prospects Brighter for the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation
Posted on 12th March 2016
Elizabeth Smith, Chair, Commonwealth Media Group and Consultant, Transforming Broadcasting
"Good developments ahead" - the view of Professor William Hai Zaza, the recently-appointed Chairman of the proposed new South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation. He was speaking at a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda , 23-25 February 2016.
Professor William Hai Zaza, the recently-appointed Chairman of the proposed new South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.
Professor Zaza, and the New Board of Directors of the Corporation, are working with staff of the state broadcaster SSTVR to to establish the policies and procedures of the future organisation. The new DG is expected to be appointed within 1-3 months. The launch will depend on many factors, including the stability of the new Transitional Government, shortly to take up office.
The workshop is part of the continuing support given by the Japanese Aid Agency, JICA, to South Sudan to help transform the state broadcaster in a public service one. Called the Project for Institutional Capacity Development for South Sudan and Radio, it has been operating for the past three years and is due to conclude soon.
The Workshop was attended by one other Board member of the new Corporation, and was addressed by the DG of the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, Mr Arthur Asiimwe, the Deputy DG Mrs Claudine Uwanyiligara, and Transforming Broadcasting Consultant Mrs Elizabeth Smith, who specialises in helping state broadcasters move towards PSB. Six senior managers from SSTV also attended as did a number of senior staff from the RBA.
DG of the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, Mr Arthur Asiimwe
The SSTVR delegation noted the similarities between the situation in South Sudan after their bitter civil war and in Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide. They were impressed by the efforts RBA has made to unify the country and support reconciliation between all the factions.
The new Corporation is to receive state funding for the first five years and is thereafter to be self funding. One looming problem will be that any income earned currently goes to the Government, which will reduce the incentive for the new Corporation to establish good marketing skills and bring in income. Other difficulties ahead include the current major security and economic problems, the weak advertising market in South Sudan, the poor equipment and aged facilities of SSTVR, and the shortage of experience within SSTVR in modern management and IT skills. Professor Hai, however, looks ahead to these major problems with a Can Do spirit of optimism and envisages a future for the new Corporation which includes a major effort to help all South Sudanese through broadcasting to help peace and reconciliation and modernised Public Service programming.
Broadcasters from South Sudan TV/Radio visit the studios of the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.
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