source: Republic of Botswana (21/5/10) TAUTONA TIMES for May 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"
B12) 6/5/10: Minister Motsumi at the launch of eBotswana TV
On the eve of local activities marking World Press Freedom Day the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Affairs, the Hon. Lesego Motsumi, passionately reaffirmed Government's commitment to nurturing an enabling environment for private sector growth and diversity in Botswana's Broadcast media in remarks at tonight's high glamour launch of eBotswana TV service. [Start] -
Remarks by the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Honourable Lesego Ethel Motsumi, at the Launch of eBotswana Television:
[Salutations}...Ladies and Gentlemen;
1. Good evening, it is a true pleasure to be here! What a wonderful occasion this is launching this new baby!
2. It is a pleasure because tonight's event marks a significant milestone in the development of Broadcasting in Botswana, as well as this station. While GBCTV has been operating for just over two decades now, I am convinced that its re-launch tonight as "eBotswana" signifies more than a change of name.
3. My optimism is rooted in the progress the station has begun to make, as well as what it promises to achieve, since its local owner, Mr. Mike Klinck, went into partnership with Sabido Investments, through its subsidiary company E-TV South Africa.
4. In this respect, I am assured that Mr. Mike Klinck retains his majority shareholding in the company, which is consistent with the policy of Government and of the National Broadcasting Board to promote majority citizen ownership among our emerging private sector broadcasters.
5. At the same time given the significant technical and financial challenges involved in operating a commercially viable quality free to air television service, as the Minister responsible for broadcasting I recognise and appreciate the potential win-win value to entities like E-Botswana in forging cross border partnerships.
6. This is true for public service as well as private broadcasters around the world. While remaining a national asset our own BTV has and will continue to court regional and global partners in its own ongoing efforts to bring enhanced programming to Batswana.
7. From what I have been told, not only by the station's management but also by others, I am convinced that GBC-TVs relationship with ETV South Africa has been of great value in ensuring its recent viability, as well as its future success as E-Botswana.
8. Among other things the partnership has allowed the station to improve the visual quality of its VHF free to air broadcast signal, which now covers the greater Gaborone region for a radius of 80 kilometres.
9. As a result over one third of our population now has potential access to its programming.
10. Through its partnership with E-TV, the station has further benefited from additional technical, professional and programming, as well as capital support.
11. In terms of job creation the station's fulltime professional staff has grown to over two dozen, with more likely to be absorbed in both full time and freelance positions in the future.
12. In addition, I must commend the station for its policy of providing internships for students from local tertiary institutions. This recognises the valued partnership between government and the private sector on job creation or even on the job training. It is my hope that the end result of the internship programme with you will result in some permanent job offers to some of the interns.
13. My enthusiasm for E-Botswana's continued success, however, goes beyond its current numbers. As the representative of a Government fully committed to both private sector growth and the nurturing of a diverse media culture, I welcome the promise that ordinary viewers in our country will have a viable commercial free to air station in addition to BTV.
14. In this respect there may be grounds for future cooperation as well as healthy competition between the two stations.
15. The existence of more than one local station should, for example, increase the opportunities for local production companies.
16. In this respect, while I note the E-Botswana will be bringing quality entertainment from outside Botswana to its consumers, Government will be most interested in seeing how it succeeds in growing its local content, which of course is provided for in its licence. Local content is very important for it does not only provide viewers with locally produced programmes but also skills development for the citizens.
17. Ladies and Gentlemen let me conclude by commending Mr. Klinck and his team for their perseverance and hard work in making E-Botswana a reality.
18. I am aware, Mike, that many naysayers doubted the station's viability. I suspect there may have even been times of self-doubt too! There have been difficult times especially during the infant times of GBCTV; those were the integral developmental stages of an industry.
19. There is a common saying that nobody trips over mountains. It is rather the small rocks that cause us to stumble. But you stand up, chest up, and move on! The important thing is to hold tight and let the ship not sink. Mr. Klinck you and your team passed over the rocks in your path to scale your mountain!
20. This is to be commended as a true example of citizen self-empowerment that can inspire others.
21. Director of Ceremonies, Ladies and Gentlemen, with these few remarks it is now my pleasure to formally launch E-Botswana. I thank you all.