The President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, has met with Director Generals from the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) and its Executive Director Gregoire Ndjaka as part of their 10th Anniversary celebrations.
In his speech to the AUB, the Senegalese President described it as a 'shame' that only 14 of more than 60 countries were able to access the matches of the African national football teams during the last Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).
The African summit of Presidents and Prime Ministers already expressed it concerns in May 2016 and what happened at CAN, he said, confirmed those worries. It is now up to the African Parliament to make a recommendation on the subject to all African legislators.
Sall promised to suggest access to sports rights as one the topics to be addresses by a special commission in charge of the reform of the African Union. He proposed that, as a minimum, at least the countries of the teams that qualified for the final phase of CAN were given access to the live retransmissions at a fair price.
On the deadline of 2020 to shut off the analogue broadcasting signal in Africa in favour of digital terrestrial transmission (DTT), President Sall reminded the audience that this will be a great opportunity for Africa, and especially for public service media (PSM), to use the opportunity to support the local creative industry, finance co-productions and better serve their citizens.
He concluded that PSM in Africa plays an essential role because it is the only one that has a duty to serve all citizens, even those living in rural areas, and to offer them high quality and sometimes challenging programmes - something that no commercial television will ever dare to offer.