General News of Friday, 28 September 2018
Stakeholders involved in the implementation of Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) infrastructure, have held a meeting to agree on the way forward for the full roll out of the project.
Key among the stakeholders are the Communication’s Ministry and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).
The $95 million DTT seeks to guarantee multiple TV channels, clearer pictures, better sound quality and offer more opportunities for advertisers and Broadcasters, was supposed to have been completed before 2015.
But government has postponed migration to digital broadcasting for more than three times due a number of challenges.
This truce however was reached at a meeting organised by these stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the seeming impasse between the government and GIBA on the matter.
Speaking after the first meeting on Thursday, Information Minister designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the parties have agreed to engage further to deliberate on the implementation of the DTT project.
He also indicated that the CDTC will continue to be managers of the infrastructure of the DTT project.
Resolutions reached at the meeting
1. That all parties will collaborate in joint public education campaign on the DTT project going forward.
2. That the earlier decision which was to have an independent company, known as the Central Digital Transmission Company operate and manage the infrastructure for DTT, remains unchanged.
3. The parties have agreed to continue with engagements on the project, as the project proceeds. The next meeting of these stakeholders is scheduled to take place within the next four weeks.
Stakeholders present at the meeting
Key among the parties who agreed on further deliberation included the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Finance, the National Media Commission, the National Communication Authority, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the Film Producers Association of Ghana.
Also present were, the Ghana Films and Television Arts, the Ghana Actors Guild, National Film and Television Institute, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana Institute of Engineering, KNet Limited as well as the ILC Consultancy.
GIBA meets Parliament over StarTimes row
On Thursday, the Communications Committee of Parliament held a crunch meeting with the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) over the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration issue.
The Committee has received a petition from GIBA over concerns with the involvement of StarTimes in the country’s digital TV space.
The meeting was expected to help resolve the seeming impasse between the government and GIBA on the matter.
Tensions at the meeting
Kennedy Agyapong, and a member of the Committee, Sam George, nearly traded blows in a meeting.
However, calm was restored, allowing the meeting to take place. Explaining further the circumstances leading to that misunderstanding, Mr. Agyapong said he had to query his colleague for putting into the public domain, a matter that had been discussed solely among committee members on the raging issue.
He however noted that they have settled their differences, and that the Committee would continue with their work.
“I wasn’t happy with what he said at the IMANI program yesterday [Wednesday]. I was furious because of the statement he made against the committee which we have taken a decision will not end here. I have apologized to him, and he has also apologized to me. And after we came back from the chamber, we have had a fruitful discussion.”
Ken Agyapong blames Ursula Owusu for DTT-StarTimes controversy
Meanwhile, Kennedy Agyepong has blamed the Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for the current controversy over Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform, and the role of Chinese firm, StarTimes.
“My members will say I have a slip lip, but all these are happening because of the Minister; so we have to meet the minister. We will invite the Minister to come and brief us on what happened.
Kennedy Agyepong indicated that the Communication Minister must come clean on the deal.
“We don’t have a problem going to meet the minister. I think the appropriate approach is to rather to invite the minister to come to the committee to brief us. We are left in the dark”, he added.