StarTimes Hands Over Digital TV Project
2019-12-27 15:00:00

The official handover of the $80 million digital television project to the Kenyan government on Friday by StarTimes Kenya will contribute greatly to bridging the urban-rural digital divide in African rural areas.

Launched in June 2018, the China-Africa cooperation project is set to benefit 800 villages across Kenya's 47 counties.

According to StarTimes Kenya, the contractor of the Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages, 20 households in each of the villages had a satellite television service installed which was composed of a satellite dish and a high-definition set top box.

And three public institutions in each village also received two solar powered satellite projector TV systems and one 32-inch television set.

Andy Wang, CEO of StarTimes Kenya, said 16,000 households and 2,400 public institutions will benefit from the project.

"We applaud the Chinese government for conceptualizing this initiative which is key in growing access to digital television in the wake of the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, and the Kenyan government for warmly welcoming this investment," Wang said.

He said the company's engineers together with the 1,600 technical support team and local leaders and communities worked together to successfully implement the project.

The handover ceremony in Kenya comes two months after StarTimes handed over a digital TV project to the government of Nigeria, from which a total of 20,000 households will benefit.

The Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages project was announced by President Xi Jinping during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as one of the summit resolutions.

"As we handover the 800 digital villages in Kenya, it is our belief that this project is a true testament of what can be achieved in cooperation between governments and the input of the private sector in promoting the socioeconomic and political prosperity of our economies," he said.

Joseph Mucheru, the cabinet secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication, in a speech read on his behalf at the handover ceremony said the realization of digital satellite and terrestrial reception is a major achievement in ensuring that the Kenyan people have access to and enjoy the benefits of the digital platforms that will enable them to acquire information necessary for decision making in a knowledge-based economy.

"The availability of a balanced mix of local and international channels will increase access to information which will go a long way in bridging the urban-rural digital divide," Mucheru said.

He reiterated the government's continued commitment to supporting and protecting investment in the ICT industry in an effort to ensure that the entire population in the country has access to affordable ICT products and services to enjoy benefits accruing from digitization.

Wu Peng, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, said the implementation of the project is an important part of the China-Africa cultural exchange cooperation program.

"We believe that the implementation of the project will effectively promote cultural exchanges between China and Kenya, greatly enrich daily lives and improve the cultural knowledge of local people," he said.

Wu said China's assistance to Kenya will be closely aligned with the Big Four Agenda, to provide help for job creation and boost the incomes of local people.