Govt targets a multimillion-dollar broadcasting sector

By Tichaona Kurewa

THE government says it is working on transforming the broadcasting sector into a multimillion-dollar industry through licensing more radio and television stations and digitalisation of the sector.

As part of efforts to grow the broadcasting sector last year, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) licensed six new digital television stations, 14 community radio stations, eight campus radio services and one satellite content distribution service by the name of Azam Media Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd.

The Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Kindness Paradza, who represented Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) strategic review and planning workshop in Victoria Falls this Thursday, said the government will expedite the release of budget allocations from the treasury to deliver outstanding digitisation projects.

“It, however, remains our duty to shape the broadcasting sector into a multibillion-dollar sector with immense contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. We must be cognisant of the fact that broadcasting media plays a big role by shaping public opinion, promoting development, democracy and good governance, facilitating nation-building and advancing policies that promote a high quality of life for all Zimbabweans,” said Honourable Paradza.

BAZ Board Chairperson, Charles Sibanda noted the progress made by licensed broadcasting stations to start broadcasting.

“All those we licensed are still within the eighteen months given to new players to set up shop. If any of those licensed fail to broadcast within the stipulated time will be asked to explain. If the explanation is not satisfactory, the license will be revoked,” said Sibanda.

The workshop, being attended by the BAZ Board of Directors, the Management Team as well as employees of the Authority, aims at coming up with the Annual Strategic Plan for 2022, and it comes after the parent Ministry’s strategic plan held in October last year.