Preserving Africa's Audio-Visual Media Assets

Preserving Africa's Audio-Visual Media Assets

Broadcast media organisations are custodians of social-cultural experiences captured in audio-visual content. And as broadcasting platforms turns digital, there is the urgent need for legacy audio-visual content to be appropriately preserved for the benefit of society both presently and in the future. Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) has joined up with key organisations and professionals in a collaborative effort to preserve the legacy audio-visual content of broadcasters and media organisations across Africa. The year-long industry programme on “Preserving Africa’s Audio-Visual Media Assets” will promote the cataloguing, storage, archiving and preservation of legacy content across Africa's broadcasting and media organisations. It will also serve as a credible point of call for professionals, providing them with knowledge of practices, standards and technologies to safeguard and preserve legacy audio-visual content in Africa. 

Broadcast content preservation practitioners and professionals from across the world are set to have a collaborative platform to enable best working practices, standards and solutions that will help professionals safeguard and preserve legacy audio-visual content in Africa. The Southern African Broadcasting Association, SABA, has decided to support the industry initiative being put in place by Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) in collaboration with other like-minded organisations and respected individuals to help with the preservation of Africa's audio-visual heritage.

Commenting on the Industry Programme, SABA Secretary-General Cecil Jarurakouje Nguvauva, said it could not have come at a better time, adding that: "broadcasters across Africa have hours of golden audio-visual content lying idle within their archives. These materials can be catalogued, repurposed and provided for the benefit of society both presently and in the future." The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) - the umbrella body for all Radio and Television stations in Nigeria - has confirmed support for Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) 's Industry Programme on the Preservation of Africa's Audio-visual Media Heritage. The Chairperson of BON, Hajia Sa'a Ibrahim, agrees that the initiative "could not have come at a better time" adding that: "Nigerian broadcasters also have many, many hours of prime audio-visual content in the archives that need to be digitised and offered for the benefit of society."

The principal administrator of the Industry Programme, Mr Benjamin Pius of Broadcast Media Africa welcomed SABA and BON to the initiative, hailing it a befitting testimony of collaboration that institutions on the continent need to uphold for success. Mr Pius commented that the industry programme has been set up to achieve three main objectives:

  • Enable a deeper understanding of the status of media assets preservation in Africa
  • Help establish the capabilities of public broadcasters to secure the preservation of audio-visualcollections for future generations.
  • Work to institute a sustainable industry network of archivist and preservation professionals for Africa'sbroadcast media industry.

It is hoped that with the setting-up of this vital programme, the industry will come together to strengthen the preservation of Africa's socio-cultural heritage.