General News of Saturday, 22 September 2018
The Ministry of Communication has denied reports that it has decided to hand over the management of the DTT infrastructure and platform to Chinese firm StarTimes.
“The ministry wishes to state emphatically that it has, in no way, committed to, and does not intend to hand over the management of the DTT infrastructure platform to any third party.
“The DTT infrastructure platform shall be managed as a commercial entity incorporated as the central Digital Transmission Company Limited (CDTCL) governed by a board (Representatives from GIBA, TNX Creative Arts Industry and contents Producers, MoF, MoC, the CEO of the CDTCL and the board chair)”, a statement from the ministry said.
It added: “The selection of a contractor and financing options for any aspect of the project ought not to be interpreted as an intention to hand over the ownership and management of the platform to any third party”.
The statement comes on the heels of suspicions raised by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) that a separate deal between the ministry and the Chinese firm to extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country, is being used a conduit to hand over the DTT platform to StarTimes to the detriment of local operators.
GIBA, in a statement, said: “The agenda of StarTimes is not only aimed at [making] profit” or “indoctrinating” Ghanaians with “Chinese culture (names, language, food, etc.) and programmes”, but involves “a larger mandate to take over the control of the broadcast space in strategic African countries including Ghana, which is crucial for the China game”.
“Whereas today, China does not allow foreign ownership of media and for that matter, will not allow the African broadcast media the space to trade our African channels in their country, why then should African states give our broadcast space in the fashion as we are experiencing at the moment”, GIBA wondered.
The ministry has, however, denied any such moves are ongoing.