NBC receives lion’s share of MICT’s budget for DTT

WINDHOEK: The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has received the lion’s share of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT)’s budget for the 2014/15 financial year.

While introducing the ministry’s budget allocation of N.dollars 566 million in the National Assembly on Monday, ICT Minister Joel Kaapanda said the NBC will receive N.dollars 311,9 million.

The national broadcaster will continue with the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) roll-out, and it is anticipated that by June 2014, 65 per cent of the Namibian population will be covered.

DTT is the technological evolution of broadcast television from analogue television, which transmits land-based (terrestrial) signals.

Kaapanda said the funds will also be utilised to continue with the expansion of digital television channels, the upgrading of studios and the development of local content.

“As part of the ongoing DTT migration roll-out, NBC television is now available through digital set-top boxes on three channels, namely NBC1, NBC2 and NBC3,” he noted.

N.dollars 20 million has also been allocated to the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) for operational activities, covering the gathering and production of news stories for print media, television and radio stations.

The Minister said Nampa’s allocation will also cover the production of audiovisual news and documentaries for online and television viewers.

Meanwhile, N.dollars 12 million will be allocated to the New Era Publication Corporation to implement its business plan towards becoming self-sustainable.

Kaapanda said the funds will also be utilised for the gathering and production of news in various Namibian languages.

An amount of N.dollars 12 million was allocated to the Namibia-Zimbabwe joint venture company, NamZim.

These funds will be used for the gathering and production of news articles and opinion pieces from an African perspective, as well as promoting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as an attractive investment destination.

The Namibia Film Commission (NFC) will receive N.dollars 8,5 million to commission two feature films, four documentaries, two short films and an animation film during the 2014/15 financial year.

“In terms of training, the Commission will provide a mentorship programme through an incubation project to small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) film businesses in order to develop the industry to contribute to job-creation and poverty reduction,” the minister stated.

Kaapanda added that the NFC will continue to create good incentives to attract major foreign film productions to Namibia.