Stakeholders to discuss media transformation in Zanzibar

Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation's Director-General Dr. Ayub Rioba Chacha when he paid a courtesy call to MCL's Managing director Bakari Machumu

Dar es Salaam. Members of the Union of Broadcasting Organisations in Southern Africa (SABA) will meet in Zanzibar next week to discuss how they can continue sustaining themselves economically and remain relevant amid advancements in digital technologies.

During the meeting, which will be officiated by Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi and closed by Minister for Information, Communications, and Technology, Nape Nanuye, stakeholders will have an opportunity to navigate the uncharted waters defined by social media and citizen journalism.

The Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation Director, Ayubu Rioba, mentioned during a visit to Mwananchi Corporation Limited (MCL) on Friday, October 6, 2023, that the meeting is set to convene 200 participants, both from inside and outside Tanzania, who will discuss various issues, including the contribution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to building a digital economy in Africa for sustainable development.

He added, "The meeting will also focus its discussions on how public media institutions can sustain themselves economically and continue to be relevant in a media setting defined by social media."

Another goal is to exchange information, expand the understanding of IT issues, provide different methods, and improve media technology and advertising to keep up with the current technological changes, Dr. Rioba noted.

Seven years ago, he observed that when Tanzania hosted the meeting, only 27 percent of Tanzanians had access to mobile phones.

Now, more than half the population owns a smartphone. This calls for action by the public and traditional media to move with the times, especially as social media currently consumes half of the advertisement budget.

"This is the third time Tanzania is hosting the meeting in 30 years," he said.

The meeting participants chose Zanzibar to showcase to the rest of Africa and the world how it has maintained its union between Tanzania's mainland and the Isles.

On his part, MCL Managing Director, Bakari Machumu, stated that people still need information, but what has changed is the platform being used.

"We in Africa also need to discuss the content that is produced within the continent," he said.