Digital migration in broadcasting is irreversible and unstoppable, hence Nigeria and indeed the entire African continent must join the global digitalization train so as not to be left behind, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in Beijing, China, on Saturday.
Speaking at the end of the 6th African Digital TV Development Seminar in the Chinese capital, the Minister said it is imperative for Africa to utilize the platform provided by digitalization to leapfrog into the future of technology.
He said a successful transition would spin off benefits far beyond broadcasting, not just for Nigeria but for the entire African continent, adding that a timely and successful Digital Switch Over (DSO) would put many of the country's youths to work, provide the platform for their creativity to blossom, ensure technology transfer and create opportunities far beyond what anyone can fathom at the moment.
Alhaji Mohammed said it was in realization of the far-reaching benefits of the DSO that African Ministers in charge of Information and Communication, who attended the forum, have agreed on the need for a continental synergy and the sharing of experiences in order to facilitate a successful switchover across the continent.
He said a situation in which only two African nations have so far successfully digitalized their broadcast industry does not augur well for the continent, hence the decision by the Ministers to work together to fast-track the switch over project.
''The Digital Switch Over is a global project. Many countries that have concluded their DSO are already reaping the benefits accruing there from. Africa can not afford to lag too far behind,'' the Minister said.
He commended the organizers of the Forum for providing a platform not just for all those involved in the digitalization process in Africa and China to interact and share experiences, but also for the representatives of the various African countries to interact.
''The lessons we have learnt and the experiences we have shared at this forum will definitely fire our zeal to continue working apace towards a timely and successful digitalization. We must all build on the momentum we have garnered through our interactions in these past few days,'' the Minister said.