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“Communities of the world are provided with the opportunity to enter this new communication era on their own terms. It is an era where our cultural values, our indigenous languages and our natural creativity can be flaunted and shared with others”, according to the Minister of Information, Communications and Technology Winnie Magagula . Officially opening the First Film & New Media Stakeholder’s Workshop at Ezulwini on Thursday, Magagula added that by 2015, when all members of the international telecommunications Union (ITU) switched over to digital terrestrial television transmission, there would be more spaces to tell Swazi stories and showcase local creativity over multiple ICT platforms. She emphatically advised for the intensive usage of ‘SiSwati’ as a means to unlock and broaden creativity and participation in this potentially lucrative industry. “Language must not become a barrier, but rather an enabler to all those who may so wish to make a living through the use of ICT’s."  Speaking to over 150 industry producers, film support services providers, government stakeholder officials, and corporate attendants, the Minister added that “technological innovations usually provide more proficient means of doing traditional things. In this industry, ICT’s accentuate more efficient means of telling and sharing the ‘SiSwati” story.

Magagula said the digital multiplatform era provided opportunities to nurture local appetites for indigenous content and to grow local audiences. ‘’We should support aspiring producers who provide services to the commercial, public sector and non-governmental sectors so that professionals can confidently create sustainable employment opportunities. Highlighting the possibilities for regional networking, marketing, and the creation of a sub-continental film hub the minister further noted that, “We are collectively responsible for changing the negative perceptions of our continent through the excellence that we can achieve through this industry. The Ministry of ICT presently awaits assent by His Majesty King Mswati III to the Swaziland Communications Commission Bill to regulate the ICT sector, while the Swaziland Broadcasting and the Swaziland Broadcasting Corporation Bills have been presented to Parliament. The former would give formal legal to categories of broadcasters eligible for licensing and regulation, while the latter would merge the national radio and television broadcasters into a single corporation.




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