About 30 participants are attending a ten-day seminar on satellite broadcasting for education and development that opened on Monday (October 22) in Addis Ababa.
About 30 participants are attending a ten-day seminar on satellite broadcasting for education and development that opened on Monday (October 22) in Addis Ababa. The seminar, under the auspices of the United Nations, in being held in the Africa Hall in the Ethiopian capital. The participants come from many regional and national organisations that are interested in satellite broadcasting.
The seminar will cover discussions on the possible applications communications satellites for information, education and development. The delegates will examine space communications systems, along with experiments and plans now underway in many parts of the world. They will also look at recent African experience in the use of television for education and its relevance to space communications development and explore the possibility of a regional satellite broadcasting system for Africa.
In a speech at the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Robert Gardiner, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, told participants there was a lack of adequately developed information media serving rural African areas where, he said, "such facilities are most needed."
He noted that the high rate of personal illiteracy and the lack of access to communications and information media had contributed to an 80 per cent illiteracy in Africa.
Mr. Gardiner mentioned the large number of newspapers in non-African languages, "understood only by the minority, educated in these foreign languages." The recommended minimum of five radio sets per hundred people had not, he said, been met in many African countries.
Turning to television, Mr. Gardiner realised that it was expensive. However, he felt that in developing nations there was justification for television, because of the support it could provide to the national development effort.
Mr. Gardiner drew the participants' attention to the United Nations's recommendations on the use of satellites in educational broadcasting. He ended by telling his audience that an African Regional Satellite System could make educational television available at a lower cost than traditional land-line or microwave systems.
SYNOPSIS: Ethiopia is playing host to some thirty participants attending a regional seminar on satellite broadcasting. The seminar, that began on Monday, is being run under the auspices of the United Nations. Participants come from regional and national organisations interested in satellite broadcasting.
For ten days, the participants will examine existing space communications systems, and look at various experiments and plans in various parts of the world, particularly in India and the Americas. One of the topics will be a review of African experience in the use of educational television and its relevance to satellite communication.
Mr. Robert Gardiner, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for africa, gave the opening address for the seminar. He noted the high illiteracy rate in Africa, which he put at eighty per cent. It was kept that high, he felt, through a lack of access to educational media, and through a predominance of non-African language newspapers. Turning his attention to television, Mr. Gardiner argued that, in spite of its high cost, television could be justified as an educational medium, if it contributed to the national development effort.
There are hopes that the seminar will help bring about the creation of an African Regional Satellites System. It has been pointed out, in a preliminary study, that a satellite might even be cheaper than traditional microwave and land-line systems. Although most of the participants are African, representatives of international broadcasting agencies attended the seminar.