China-aided Satellite TV project to bridge rural – urban digital gap

Ursula Owusu Ekuful
Ursula Owusu Ekuful

Communication minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, is optimistic the China aided satellite TV project will go a long way to bridge the digital gap between rural and urban Ghana.

The objective of the project is to provide satellite TV reception with a bouquet of digital channels for a selected public area and 20 households in the 300 villages. In addition, public areas selected in each village will be equipped with two sets of solar powered projection TV systems and a solar 32-inch digital TV providing access to a bouquet of twenty digital channels from StarTimes entertainment free of charge. The equipment in the public area is under a 5-year warranty.

The project is being implemented by StarTimes Technology Company.

The support for Ghana by the Chinese government is part of moves announced in December 2015 by Chinese President, Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg to provide Satellite TV to 10,000 African Villages.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said the project will change the lives of many.

“The exponential growth and adoption of digital technologies is transforming every aspect of our lives and the transfer of technology and spread of knowledge across borders as a result of globalization is helping to boost innovation and productivity whilst increasing global interdependence and strengthening global cooperation,” the communication minister noted.

She added: “For government television remains an important platform for communicating and disseminating vital information to the general public, predominantly through the news and public sensitization campaigns. In the digital broadcasting environment, an era of fast paced, dynamic content, the proliferation of satellite TV across the country offers an opportunity for local and international content providers to develop exciting, relevant and quality programming that will appeal to a range of audiences”.

StarTimes Chief Operation Officer, Felix Ahonzo, noted that StarTimes worked with the various districts and regional representatives to identify these communities during the selection process. He said key considerations for the selection of the communities included access or availability of public places such as community hall, schools, hospitals and guaranteed safety of the installed devices among others.

He said: “The beneficiary communities will have the unique opportunity to enjoy exciting, entertaining, informative and educative program from StarTimes’ rich content offering.”

In all, 57 communities were selected from the Ashanti, 43 from the Eastern region, 37 from the Greater Accra region and 35 from the Central region. The rest are 31 from the Brong Ahafo region, Northern Region had 30 villages selected, Western region had 24, Volta region had 18, 17 villages were selected from the Upper East and eight from the Upper West, totaling 300 communities.

Source: Ghana/ Owusu Amankwaah

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