The government of Zimbabwe is proposing to amend the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) to review the broadcasting sector’s foreign shareholding structure. Kindness Paradza, the Deputy Information Minister, confirmed that the BSA would be repealed soon during a recent broadcasting conference in Harare.
“Other features of the BSA amendment include allowing foreign shareholding in entities and awarding broadcasting service licenses for up to 40 per cent as a measure of stimulating the development of the broadcasting sector while ensuring that Zimbabweans retain control of broadcasting services,” he said.
“This requires modifying Section 8 of the principal Act, which states that the government must issue broadcasting service licenses to entities owned entirely by Zimbabwean citizens.”
Paradza went on to say that the government would continue to mobilise resources to invest in the media and information sector’s growth.
“While the government continues to mobilise resources to invest in the growth of the media and information sector, the country’s mobile communication reach is phenomenal.”
“This is a sector with a lot of room for investment and expansion. So it tries to bridge the gap between means and ends to achieve the desired vision.”
According to Paradza, the government licensed 14 community radio stations and six national free-to-air television channels. He also stated that seven campus radio stations had been issued broadcasting licenses.
He revealed that Azam Media, a Tanzanian-based media company, was recently awarded a Content Distribution Service license.
He explained that “the company is local, but the shareholders are not.”