- P58 million will be spent on the acquisition of local content
- “This will promote our arts in the continent”-Assistant minister
During his speech at the 5th Annual YAMAs artist workshop last week the assistant minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Phillip Makgalemele revealed that his ministry will soon air its youth channel NOW TV! on the DSTv platform. This latest move comes after Batswana decried lack of access to the content and Makgalemele said he had no doubt that the platform will also promote Batswana’s arts throughout the continent.
The Youth Television Channel was launched in March, 2018 to provide young people with a platform to showcase their creativity by tapping into the local film and television sector. Initially government spent P10 million to set up the youth channel and President, Mokgweetsi Masisi further announced that a total of P58 million will be further spent on the acquisition of local content during the current financial year.
NOW TV! was originally set up to be broadcast throughout Botswana on the Digital Terrestrial Platform which requires an ISDB-T Set-top-box. Since its inception most Batswana have not accessed the TV channel because of the unavailability of said set-top-boxes, a challenge that the former minister of Youth, Thapelo Olopeng said was a business opportunity for entrepreneurs.
“You may recall last year when the president addressed the SONA, he emphasized that the government continues to develop the Arts and Culture sector as a key vehicle towards the promotion of sustainable economic development. In that regard, we are still in the process of finalizing the creative arts sector strategy which I believe will benefit the Arts industry even in terms of international exposure,” Makgalemele said.
Makgalemele further assured that they have come up with initiatives to assist in lowering unemployment, especially amongst the young people, who constitute the majority the population. Government annually allocates One Hundred and Twenty Million Pula (P120 million) to the Youth Development Fund (YDF) for the youth to set up businesses and create jobs. The constituency sports leagues and annual arts competition are among the initiatives ran by the ministry.