ICT MINISTRY CALLS FOR COMMERCIALIZATION OF BROADCASTING STATIONS

The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) has called for the commercialisation of the country’s major broadcasting stations which are Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) and the Eswatini Television Authority (ETVA). This was revealed by Minister of ICT, Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Sikhanyiso during the tour of the different departments that fall under her ministry. Also included is Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM). The Minister was in the company of the members of the ministry’s portfolio committee which include Macford Sibandze, Mike Temple, and Senator Leckinah Magagula. The Minister said it was
high time that the stations became commercialised all with the help of government and other relevant stakeholders.
With the materialization of the initiative the arts industry in the Kingdom will be enhanced and lifted, said the minister. “It is worth noting that these stations can play a very integral part in uplifting the arts industry,’’ said the minister, calling upon Eswatini’s talented artists to ensure that they partner especially with the national radio station, EBIS, in their quest to achieve world standard content,” she said. Although the two major broadcasting stations, EBIS and ETVA, reportedly are beset with problems, most of them technical, the minister
was optimistic that greater heights were going to be reached if all the stakeholders applied the rightful
mind-set. She said most of the country’s artists have challenges with regards to finances hence the need for the
right partnership with the private sector to go an extra mile in steering digital migration, an undertaking that comes with minimum costs. This, according to the minister was going to capacitate a lot of the artists
in the country in many different ways including horning their craft. Furthermore, she said that technological
shifts must be considered to create high quality content for the industry which will in turn put Eswatini in the
global map. On the other hand, Princess Sikhanyiso ensured stakeholders that cyber security was the ministry’s main
focus, saying that it was befitting to come up with the right legislative framework that will ensure a robust
cyber security system in the country. The connection between economic vitality and security is critical as
long-term sustainable economic vitality is shaped by the value created by both people and businesses who
use technology as an accelerator for productivity. “In government, cognitive capabilities can help organizations better understand critical trends and develop insights at scale to accelerate improvements for citizens and systems in areas such as public health, education, economic development, public safety and the utilization of natural resources,’’ said the minister. She added that strong infrastructure can promote increased trust and investment in an economy

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