The Chinese Government has handed over 800 digital television project to Kenya. The issuance is part of a commitment to digitize 10,000 Villages through Digital Television Project in Africa.
The project is among the ten Cooperation plans announced during the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2015. During the launch in Johannesburg South Africa by the President of China Mr Xi Jinping announced their focus on digitizing Africa.
In attendance, were the Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegation, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers in charge of economic cooperation from China and 50 African countries.
In Kenya, the project was launched in June 2018 and has since been successfully implemented across the 47 counties. Such activities like the installation of satellite television services in public institutions and select individual households already commenced.
In each of the 800 villages. 20 households were installed with Satellite television service composed of a satellite dish, a high definition set-top box and accessories. Other beneficiaries of the project include three public institutions. In each village, they received two solar-powered satellite projector TV systems and one 32 inch television set.
In totality16,000 individual households and 2,400 public institutions have benefitted from the project so far.
“Am happy to note that the 10,000 village’s project has not only absorbed 1,600 of our youth to work as maintenance personnel. But also has been implemented through satellite television technology. Thus reaching every corner of our country with a balanced mix of both local and international channels.” Said Mr Joe Mucheru, the ICT Cabinet Secretary during the handover ceremony.
The project cost Ksh842,708,300 broken down into Ksh428,215,900 equipment and Ksh. 414,492,400 for project implementation.
The program has been rolled out by the Ministry of ICT in conjunction with digital television company StarTimes as the contractor.
“The 10,000 digital television project has gone a long way towards driving access to information. Especially in the rural areas which have played a significant role in China-Africa people-to-people exchange. Thereby enhancing the level of China-Africa cooperation.” said the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E Wu Peng.
Notably, Star Times applauded both governments for conceptualizing the initiative. It has increased access to digital television in the wake of digital migration.