Action to help South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation move towards Public Service Broadcasting
Posted on 18th February 2018
Elizabeth Smith, Consultant, Transforming Broadcasting
A Workshop for Director-level staff of SSBC took place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 31 January 2018 to 4 February, followed by a week's training for engineering staff and then another week for programme staff.
Yoshinori Sawa, Head of the JICA Expert Team, on the left, then Koji Nakai, JICA Project Expert, beside him, at the Workshop in Kigali It was run by NHK International, under the leadership of Yoshinori Sawa, and funded by the Japanese International Aid Agency, JICA.
The Workshop and training is part of a 5 year programme, which has been assisting SSBC since 2013, and ends by September this year. Much-needed modern broadcasting equipment has also been provided by JICA to keep the organisation broadcasting, despite electricity outages and damaged and defective transmitters. A lack of studios, and functioning modern equipment, makes each day of successful broadcasting something of a miracle. Staff have also suffered greatly from irregular payment of salaries over recent years.
With help from International Broadcasting Consultant, Elizabeth Smith, of Transforming Broadcasting, and NHK International staff, a Medium/Long Term Road Map was drawn up at the Workshop. Progress has already been made in introducing a new PSB constitution for SSBC, but much still needs to be done to complete the transformation. Bringing about change is difficult at a time when the top priority for the Government is the security situation.
The Road Map drawn up at the sessions in Kigali is in now due to go to the SSBC MD and Board for consideration.
The South Sudan delegates were led by Paul Jacob Kumbo, DG of Information in the South Sudan Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. They included Susan Alphonse, Deputy DG and SSBC team leader, Moyiga Anduru, Acting Director TV, Abubakar Ali Surur, Acting Director Radio, Abdhallah Noah, Acting Director Radio Engineering, Rejoice Tio Samson, Head of TV English News, Grace John Dollo, TV Engineering, and Vitale Nemesio Oduho, Legal Adviser.
Arthur Asiimwe DG RBA
Claudine Uwanyiligira, DDG RBA
The meeting was inspired by presentations by Arthur Asiimwe, DG, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency and his Deputy, Claudine Delucca Uwanyiligira. Both described the steps taken in recent years to transform the previous state broadcast ORINFOR into the current Rwandan Broadcasting Agency. Visiting the RBA HQ, the South Sudanese were greatly impressed by the high standards of the equipment, as well as powers acquired in recent years by RBA to manage independently, and to move towards full Public Service Broadcasting.
At the entrance to the Genocide MemorialThe group was taken to the Kigali Genocide Memorial which showed in detail both the atrocities of the Genocide and the efforts made to bring about the subsequent processes of reconciliation. In both the run up to the massacres and afterwards, broadcasting played a huge role, at first in major incitements to violence, and then in assisting the peace and reconciliation process. This impressed the South Sudanese, as they currently look ahead and hope for success in their own peace processes. The visit stimulated considerable thought about the power of broadcasting to influence thinking and behaviour for both good and evil, and the impact that broadcasters can have in encouraging the process of healing and the acceptance of diversity in society.
Mass graves holding the bodies of thousands of murdered victims
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