Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) Collaborates To Deliver Digital Radio In The SADC
Southern Africans will soon enjoy digital audio broadcasts, thanks to the strategic initiative brought on by the collaboration between the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), T&A Associates and SENTECH.
The Secretary-General of the SABA, Mr Cecil J. Nguvauva, announced this strategic initiative following the conclusion of initial agreements between the participating entities. Welcoming the digital radio solution to the SADC region, Nguvauva emphasised the need for rural communities to be engaged fully in the developmental agenda of the respective African governments if the planned development is to add value to the lives of the most disadvantaged members of our society.
In a press statement issued by SABA, it is indicated that Sentech’s Meyerton Radio Shortwave site in South Africa will carry the Digital Sound Broadcasting Shortwave Transmission from the broadcast centre in Southern Africa to the rest of SADC countries.
For the initial stage, only six countries are earmarked for the coverage, before it is rolled out to the rest of the SADC Region. The targeted countries are Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zambia and South Africa. The rapid deployment is planned to work alongside the existing analogue radio service, which will seamlessly transition to a fully-fledged Digital Radio transmission in SADC. The receivers to be deployed will have the capabilities to receive and transmit both Analogue and Digital radio signal on FM and AM.
The primary purpose of the initiative is for governments and various news-makers to urgently provide vital information to all citizens, especially the rural, remote and marginalised vulnerable communities. The outbreak of COVID-19 has amplified the need for this undertaking, that has highlighted risk areas in our various communities. Particular emphasis will be given to the following sectors in the respective communities: Education Sector; Health Sector; Socio-Economic factors; Gender issues; Youth & Disability.
The aim is to use digital radio-based technology, to increase access to vital information to create awareness within various communities in the SADC region, and bring them in-line with 4IR Revolution. The initiative includes the support of public, private, non - governmental organisations and the communities.