The internet protocol television service launched Saturday is a significant milestone in Botswana’s digital transformation agenda, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
Speaking at the launch in Gaborone, he said the live streaming service, branded UPIC TV, was initiated with Botswana Fibre Networks’ (BoFiNet) assistance.
President Masisi said the digital content platform would contribute towards a digitally inclusive nation through the arts and creative industry by showcasing Botswana’s storytelling and entertainment online.
“We made a promise to nurture the creative economy to make it a source of economic growth, job creation, innovation and trade, as well as to expose our arts and culture to international markets. We also made a promise to promote Botswana as a digital society and to push for investment in the digital transformation of our country. I am therefore, pleased to note that the launch of this platform is yet another milestone in the fulfilment of these promises,” Dr Masisi said.
He further said government, through its creative industry strategy, sought to commercialise the sector as underlined by the passing of a bill to establish a national arts council.
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“The creative ecosystem that supports the film industry goes beyond the engagement of writers, editors, actors, fashion designers and makeup artists. Through our films and stories, we would also be able to share our national heritage sites, tourist attractions and our hospitality industry with the global community, which has the potential to create sustainable wealth for our country and our people,” the President said.
President Masisi said the platform would also be an enabler for economic transformation and diversification through ICT in line with Vision 2036 aspirations.
It was projected that the initiative would yield employment opportunities for at least 5 840 Batswana by its third year of operation in the creative arts and other sectors including hospitality, transport as well as tourism, he said.
Still at the same event, Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Thulagano Segokgo said BoFiNet had expended considerable time and effort working with internet service providers and the country’s creative sector on the project.
He explained that it started in September 2019 and had been timeously delivered.
Mr Segokgo said the project was part of continuing efforts to increase local content development initiatives exemplified by BoFiNet‘s partnership with HUB TV, a youth-owned content production company.
The partnership, he said, had also resulted in the creation of a video-on-demand service for NOW TV, a Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development channel.
“UPIC TV is the first of its kind, a unique and complex video on demand project successfully commissioned in Botswana. The platform is in line with the aspirations of the National Broadband Strategy as it relates to the development of local content and leveraging on indigenous knowledge,” Mr Segokgo said.
Speaking on behalf of content producers, Mr Johnson Otlaadisa of New Look Studios expressed pleasure at the deliberate action towards the realisation of creative sector growth in Botswana.
Source: Daily News Botswana