Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Mouse Trap and Oppotunities for Local Content Providers

I’ve posted The Mouse Trap, a story I heard related by one of the speakers at a conference hosted by the Black IT Forum.

Mmamathe Makhekhe–Mokhuane is the chairman of South Africa's Government IT Officers Council ( a council made up of all the public sector Chief Information Officers) and CIO for the North West Provincial government.

She used the story to drive home a message to IT companies that said : “Please let us help one another. Let my problems be your problems.”

I think the story is very appropriate for short people too, who sometimes don't understand why they should help if they are not affected directly by an event.


Mmamathe also spoke about the opportunities that South African content providers will enjoy once the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has licensed more pay-TV providers.

She noted that many South African children watch the Disney channel and Cartoon Network every opportunity they get (24 hour channels on DSTV).

The stories on these channels do not reflect South Africa and were not developed in SA, she said.

“It’s about time South Africa created as many entrepreneurs, animators, content providers as possible, so we do not have to import content when the eight TV channels that are planned go live,” she said.

ICASA is currently holding public hearings where companies that would like to be licensed as pay-TV services providers (satellite and broadband) present their case.

Applicants include old broadcasters like the SABC, etv and Multichoice, and new potential players( in the SA market) like Black Earth Communication, Pretoria-based power-line broadband company Goal Technology Solutions, Quantic TV Network, Walking on Water Television, MultiChannel Television, Q Digital Cable Vision and MiDigital.

Eighteen companies/ consortiums submitted their written applications at the end of 2006.

Local writers of all kinds, including children’s writers, would do well to watch these developments, as they promise to bring forth new opportunities for their work to be used.

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