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Loco for local


*Gov’t still eyeing 80/20 content mark *

*DBS splash out P15 million on local content

In last year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Mokgweetsi Masisi reiterated government’s commitment to helping state broadcasters attain an 80/20 quota in favor of local content.

A year later, Masisi maintains significant progress has been made towards this target.

Although HE did not reveal the current local/international ratio, in his most recent SONA earlier this month, Masisi revealed gov’t, through the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS), has spent P15 million on acquiring local content over the 2022/23 financial year.

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In his address to the nation, the President hailed the National Arts Council of Botswana (NACB), launched in May, for their extensive contributions in transforming the creative industry and protecting cultural heritage.

“The Council has started its operations by issuing grants to winning proposals in various categories of arts and crafts which has resulted in the engagement of 19 youth production companies in the industry,” he said.

Masisi went on to add, “27 programme series sets have been acquired, thereby creating employment for 220 Batswana within the creative industry value chain, such as production teams and actors.”

Responding to a questionnaire Voice Entertainment sent them, NACB confirmed DBS had received local television content in the form of: documentaries (six), dramas (five), reality shows (six), fillers (16), magazines (six) and game shows (five).

According to NACB Communications and PR Manager, Joshua Ntopolelang, out of the 44 acquired programs, only nine are currently airing on state television.

These include: two documentaries, Dilo Makwati and Segarona; two dramas, Sentlhaga and The Bet; two reality shows, Art Con Fashion and Psalms and Hymns; two magazines, In-Depth and 4 Play and one game show, We Got This.

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More local content is expected to be acquired in the next financial year to be aired on BTV 3, which is sitting at 85 percent readiness.

President Masisi and NACB leadership have on many occasions advocated for the commercialization of the creative industry in order to allow for local creatives to generate employment and wealth.

The International Film Festival, which ran from Monday to Friday (20 -24) November, is counted amongst such initiatives which will unlock value chains in the sector and enhance distribution platforms.

Meanwhile, despite multiple efforts to get their input and analysis, the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) did not respond to enquiries made by this publication.

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