The 5th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum was convened from 15th to 17th April 2013 at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, in Swakopmund, Namibia. The Forum was preceded by the 2nd SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Implementation Steering Committee Meeting held in the morning on 15th April 2013.
The 5th SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum which was attended by Delegates from 11 SADC Member States,was officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) of Namibia, Honourable Joel Kaapanda. In his keynote address, the Honourable Minister reminded Delegates that the development of ICT in the SADC Region is central to regional integration and the fast approaching ITU Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Analogue Switch Off (ASO) deadline of 17th June 2015.
The main objective of the 5th SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum was to review implementation of the SADC Roadmap in the SADC Member States and address some of the challenges that are facing SADC Member States in the implementation of the SADC Roadmap and in meeting the SADC ASO deadline of 31st December 2013. The Forum discussed the issue of Digital Sound Broadcasting Standards and the 700 MHz Channeling Plan as requested by the SADC ICT Ministers in their meeting convened in November 2012 in Balaclava, Mauritius. A Progress Report shall be prepared for submission to the SADC ICT Ministers Meeting in May 2013, in Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho.
The Forum received the status report on the operationalization of the SADC DTT PMO. The DTT PMO shall be a special desk under the auspices of the SADC Secretariat with the primary objective to be the one-stop-shop for advice, co-ordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the SADC Roadmap for Digital Broadcasting Migration so as to assist all SADC Member States to meet the SADC ASO deadline or the international deadline for DTT broadcasting migration.
The Forum also received the reports from the 11 Member States that were present on their status on the implementation of the SADC Roadmap for Digital Broadcasting Migration.The Forum received from the ITU Expert a report on the results of the 25th ITU iteration of the GE06 Frequency Coordination Exercise and presentations on Digital Sound Broadcasting Standards and the 700 MHz Channeling Plan.
The meeting reviewed the pertinent issues of the Digital Dividend associated with the impending migration in particular the appreciation of the opportunities ushered by the Migration to DTT and made recommendations.
The next SADC DTT Implementation Steering Committee meeting will be held in Zambia in October/November 2013.