Lack of local content slowed DTT in Botswana

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Due to technical challenges related to the procurement and distribution of the set-top-boxes (STB), the Government is still struggling with the analogue to digital migration in Botswana. Botswana decried the lack of locally produced content as one of the reasons why the digital migration is slow. However, there might be potential distributors of the STBs which approached the government for tax rebates or discounts on the imports of the materials to sell.

The Botswana government called on to companies who have the capacity to sell the STBs to come forward and to benefit from free advertising. Botswana is said to be also still facing issues of manufacturing capacity of STBs and economic challenges, unfavourable disbursements of funds for digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration.

The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Governance, Eric Molale revealed that his ministry had wished for set-top boxes to be produced locally. Molale said, “We identified a number of young persons who have the suave to do things that relate to technology, Information Technology (IT) and the like. All the time when they were ready to start production, they then gave excuses. We are still encouraging more to come forward so that these set-top boxes are produced here, so that they can even be exported to other countries in Africa.”

Officials continue to be aggrieved by the slow pace at which the transition is effecting, so far, a lot of households still cannot get hold of set-top boxes; there are delays in the release of the digital dividend and continuous use of analogue TV frequencies, especially by neighbouring countries, which officials say delays the release of the valuable DTT spectrum.