By Binsal Abdulkader ABU DHABI, 13th March, 2022 (WAM) — Zimbabwe is planning to build a US$1 billion media industry and looking forward to the Global Media Congress to be held in Abu Dhabi in November to find new ideas, partners and collaborators from across the globe, a senior official told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“Zimbabwe’s ‘Vision 2030’ envisages uplifting the country’s 15 million people into a middle and upper middle-income population by 2030. This will be a gamechanger and the plans to build a $US1 billion media industry will contribute to realise that vision,” said Monica Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting.
In an exclusive interview with WAM during her official visit to Dubai, she said the media sector in Zimbabwe is looking forward to collaboration with media organisations across the globe, especially in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, in digital content creation, website hosting and film production.
“There are also many other opportunities, especially in TV and radio. I think the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi will be a golden opportunity for us to present the potential of Zimbabwe’s media sector and seek partners and investors to join our efforts for further growth,” Mutsvangwa stressed.
Global Media Congress The minister was referring to the first edition of the Global Media Congress, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 15th to 17th November 2022 and organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in a strategic partnership with the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the event will include a media conference and exhibition, which will enable various media organisations to discuss partnership and cooperation agreements.
Prominent media leaders and global influencers, in addition to academics and students, will attend the Congress, which will discuss several key topics such as digital communication, artificial intelligence, advanced technologies and innovation in the media sector. It will host specialist sessions covering journalism, radio, television, internet, social media and international influencers.
The event will serve as a platform for international companies interested in engaging in media markets in the Gulf region, the Middle East and North Africa, according to the organisers.
Radio, TV and media digitalisation The minister said Zimbabwe is very keen to participate in the Congress to present US$1 billion worth opportunities in its media sector. There was only one TV channel and six radio stations for the past 40 years in Zimbabwe. However, the present government has licensed seven commercial TV channels and more than 38 radio stations. “Still there is a lot of potential,” she pointed out.
Zimbabwe started a digitalisation project in media sector in 2015, but unfortunately, due to lack of financing, it was not completed, Mutsvangwa revealed.
“We would like to complete it. We are still growing. This is an industry which is still almost in its infancy. It can grow many times. So, there are lots of opportunities in digitalisation. We would like to get investors who can come on board to get licences or work together with local companies to make sure that our media sector grows further,” she explained.
Zimbabwe’s media sector is also looking for training opportunities, modern studios and the latest equipment for broadcasting and film production, and digitalising the existing analogue television channels, the minister said.
Media event, National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai Major Zimbabwean media organisations presented such opportunities at a media event organised by Zimbabwe on Friday at the Expo 2020 Dubai, Mutsvangwa said.
“Media has benefited a lot from this Expo 2020. So, we are excited about Expo. Hence our media came here. Some of the biggest media partners in our country participated in the media event.”
Zimbabwe will celebrate its National Day at its Pavilion at the Expo on Monday in the presence of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
The president and senior officials in his official delegation will also address a business forum in Dubai on Monday, which will be “another opportunity for Zimbabwean businesspersons to meet with their UAE counterparts and others from the 190 countries participating at this very special Expo,” the minister said.
“The UAE is our very good partner, as a gateway to the middle Eastern, Asian and European markets.”
Zimbabwe seeks investments and partnerships in farming, mining, pharmaceuticals, energy sectors. “There are many win-win opportunities between both countries,” Mutsvangwa said.