Broadcast Film & Music Africa Conference Explores New Frontiers This Year

The Fourth Annual Broadcast Film & Music Africa (BFMA) Conference and Exhibition is set to take place in Nairobi at the KICC on the 26th and 27th of June. BFMA is an annual gathering of broadcast, film, music, electronic media and content creation and distribution professionals from all over the content with aim to share insights through presentations and expert panels. Last year’s event saw a record 700 delegates attend the event at the Visa Oshwal Centre. If you are a player in the broadcast, film and music industry, or even a student looking to be  involved in one of these fields,  there will be much to gain from attending the conference. Well, here is a summary of what to expect from this year’s event which will definitely be much bigger.


Day 1

 Day 1 will concentrate on Content Production. Issues to be discussed include the  challenges and opportunities posed by audio-visual and radio content creation, how to improve production standards in film and television production (all the way from script writing, to design to formatting to branding), financing of content in Africa and observations from content buyers and distributors. Notable speakers and panelists include Ogova Ondego (Managing Trustee & Creative Director, Lola Kenya Screen Festival), Eddie Okila (House of Talent Uganda), Dr Isaac Rutenberg  (Creative Commons Community, Kenya and Starthmore’s Centre for IP and IT) Judy Kibinge, (Director, East African Documentary FIlm Fund) musician Nanjira Sambili, Ginger Wilson (Co-Producer of hit film Nairobi Half Life),  Mike Dearham, (Senior VP of Côte Ouest, a leading audio-visual distribution company based in Mauritius) and many others. The financing and content buyers’ view points will be of particular interest to content providers who need to know what sort of content sells and how to suitably package their content.



Day 2

Day 2 will shift focus to content distribution and tackle matters such as music distribution, movie distribution, cable, VOD and mobile distribution, finding revenue sources, content selection, assessment and audience research, piracy, regulation and copyright protection as well as use of social media. Notable speakers and panelists include Angela Ndambuki and Maurice Okoth of the PRSK and MCSK respectively, Gustav Erickson (CEO of, Marie Lora-Mungai (Founder and CEO, Buni TV), Richard Alden (COO, Wananchi/Zuku TV), Kamal Sohrab (Business Development Manager, Pan Africa Network Group, Kenya), Mark Kaigwa (Partner at Afrinnovator), Colin Gayle (Chairman, Billboard Africa, South Africa) and many others. I will be looking forward to getting insights on distribution of audio-visual and musical content through mobile technology as this seems to be an emerging solution to the distribution system problem that has plagued African countries for so long. Can music and audio-visual content be just as easy and cost-effective to distribute as paying one’s bills through M-PESA? Answers will be forthcoming from BFMA 2013.


The Switch to Digital

The conference also comes at an interesting point where several African countries are aiming to beat the 2015 deadline imposed by the International Telecommunications Union for switching to digital television broadcasting. We have already seen the challenges faced by Kenya as we failed to meet our self-imposed 2012 deadline and the further challenges as the CCK squabbles with private media owners over digital licenses. However, special focus should be on Tanzania, which has made the switch to digital transmission. The digital transition segment will be led by Rodney Benn (Regional VP Africa, Eutelsat, South Africa) who will discuss Market trends and forecasts for satellite broadcasting in the digital era.

Exhibitions, Africa Media Business Exchange

As far as the exhibition and Special Features bit is concerned, there will be an extensive exhibition of local and international suppliers and service providers in all concerned sectors and special pavillions catering for film-makers, animators and digital media innovators. For start-ups The Africa  Media Business Exchange will provide them with an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to potential investors for a $120 registration fee.

You can register to attend BFMA 2013 for free HERE.