August 11, 2005


UNICEF, Btv sign agreement
05 August, 2005

GABORONE - The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) Botswana representative, Gordon Lewis, has stated that children have the right to participate in media activities.

Speaking at the signing of a 12-month long Memorandum of Understanding between UNICEF and Botswana Television (Btv) at the Mass Media Complex on Tuesday, Lewis said it is important for children to participate in the development of content material for their programmes.

Children have a right to access the media and to have their voices heard, but also to participate in how media develops stories and news about them, he said.

He said the signing of the memorandum would assist in substantially increasing the extent and quality of media coverage of childrens issues.

UNICEF will provide technical and financial assistance and materials related to the children that can be used by BTV.

As part of the agreement, UNICEF will fund one Btv producer to attend the annual URTNA Item Exchange scheduled to take place in Abuja, Nigeria, in December.

The Item Exchange is an event in which a number of producers of childrens television programmes in the region meet to collectively review programmes in the past years and to exchange ideas and techniques about childrens programming, he said.

For his part, Broadcasting Services director Habuja Sosome said his department appreciates UNICEFs support.

UNICEF has been supporting Btv by sponsoring some of its producers to attend international meetings in Kenya, South Africa and Germany. Among the programmes that have benefited from UNICEF include Mantlwaneng, a childrens magazine programme.

Under the memorandum, there will be co-operation between the two parties to encourage participation of children in broadcasting as well as to promote quality programming and greater understanding of childrens rights through television.

Btv and UNICEF will collaborate and maintain a close working relationship to enhance advocacy and dissemination of information with regards to childrens and womens rights as guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Further, they are to highlight the rights, needs and aspirations of children and young people in programmes, which will inform, educate and entertain the nation as well as connect audiences of different ages.

Children are to be given a platform to participate in and or produce programmes that reflect their interests and concerns.

Further, UNICEF is committed to provide technical and financial support to media workers or producers of childrens programmes.

It will also provide materials like videos, docufilms and public service announcements for airing on Btv.

The organisation pledges to collaborate with Btv in the event that it hosts the Southern African Broadcasting Associations General Assemblys childrens workshop.

Btv on the other hand, shall prioritise opportunities for broadcasting and production of programmes, which will provide learning and developmental opportunities to children and young people such as through the International Childrens Day of Broadcasting and other educational programmes. BOPA  


Chris Schuepp
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