China’s satellite TV project for 10,000 African villages benefits Africa

StarTimes’ workers install equipment in a village (Photo provided by StarTimes)

China has launched a satellite TV project for 10,000 villages in 25 Sub-Saharan countries aimed at providing digital TV access to rural communities.

The project acts on one of the resolutions at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015.

Reports confirm that recipient countries have welcomed the project. So far, project construction has been completed in 16 African countries. Among them, Rwanda, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Burundi and Kenya have achieved project acceptance.

The project has not only promoted the development of Africa’s villages and narrowed the digital divide, but also enabled African countries to enjoy the fruits of global development, said Lambert Mende Omalanga, Government Spokesperson and Information Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

StarTimes, a private Chinese firm which offers home pay-TV services, was contracted to deliver the project across Africa.

Villagers watch TV in Nigeria. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)

Under the project, each selected village will receive two sets of solar-powered projector TV systems, and one solar digital TV integrated terminal system in a public area free of charge, with access to more than 20 channels, said Guo Ziqi, Vice President of StarTimes Group.

Guo added that in each village, 20 recipient families with a TV would also be provided with a satellite dish and decoders free of charge so that they can access more than 30 channels.

In addition, the project will also train 22, 246 villagers for operation and maintenance roles, boosting local employment.