‘African countries restate commitment to digital migration’
Nigeria and other African countries have restated their commitment towards the development of African television industry’s digital migration.The countries including Central Africa Republic, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Zambia, DRC Congo and Ethiopia, and a host of others made the pledge at the on-going Startimes 7th African Digital TV Development Seminar in Beijing, China.
Most of the African countries missed the June 17, 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.
The countries, including Nigeria missed the deadline due to lack of funding and the political will on the part of the governments. Nigeria as at then, needed about N30 billion to migrate successfully.
However, those, which missed the 2015 date, now have till June 20th to migrate or face the consequences, especially interference from countries that had migrated.
Indeed, at the Startimes conference, there are over 400 delegates from 46 African and Asian countries, including more than 30 ministers of information and communication from African countries, with the Nigerian delegation is led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
In the opening remarks, the President of StarTimes Group, Pang Xinxing, said African Digital TV Development Seminar has grown into a platform for deeper cooperation and dialogue for the development of the radio and TV sectors in Africa.
Apart from hosting the yearly event, Pang also mentioned that StarTimes is ready to complete the 10,000 Villages Satellite TV Project under the cooperation of Chinese and African governments. The project is China-Africa cooperation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation meeting in the 2015 Johannesburg Summit.
Mohammed, in a statement made available by Startimes, indicated that digital migration had disrupted the traditional way of communication, saying a new world has been created where the life span of new products has continued to plummet.
The minister noted that the seminar provided an opportunity for African countries to share their experiences about the expansion of digital technology as well as planning for the future.
He pointed out that StarTimes had provided a platform for Nigeria to expand the availability of digital TV and to achieve diversification of the country’s economy.
Vice Minister of China State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Tong Gang, said: “The cooperation between Chinese and African media is in accordance with the Chinese advocacy of One Belt and One Road. China is willing to deeper cooperation in the field of media development, promoting the digital migration in Africa.”