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Botswana launches online streaming platform


Botswana’s Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport, and Culture launched the improved NOW! online streaming platform on Monday, with fully functioning Internet Protocol Television.

The platform was formally launched in March 2018 on the Digital Terrestrial Transmission Platform; however, due to issues with channel accessibility, the ministry formed a collaboration with Botswana Fibre Networks to establish NOW!, the internet streaming platform, to serve as an extension of the transmission.

Minister of the ministry Tumiso Rakgare said at the launch ceremony in Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday that the main goal of establishing the platform was to develop and commercialize the creative and cultural industries (CCIs), as well as to implement the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Promotion and Protection of Diversity of Cultural Expression.

“In a quest to increase the production and flow of CCI goods and services and create more value chain opportunities for CCI practitioners in the film and video industry, there was need for an intentional response to increase economic activity; hence, the channel was set in place and in motion,” said Rakgare.

So far, the ministry has supported the film and television sectors by obtaining the content of 297 shows for a total of 150 million pula (about 11 million U.S. dollars), resulting in financial gains for 213 production businesses.

The streaming platform features 100 percent locally created Botswana stories from a variety of genres, including drama, reality, documentary, comedy/sitcom, entertainment, lifestyle magazines, 2D/3D animation, muppets, and many more.

The platform is available on the internet and has a zero rating in 84 Botswana public WIFI hotspots around the country. The mobile applications for the platform are available on Android and iOS operating systems and are downloadable online from the Google Play Store and Apple Store.

He noted that the increase in streaming services and internet consumption helps to boost the digital economy by transforming the whole value chain and leading to new business ideas.

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