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Togo looks to secure share of US$10bn China fund to advance digital migration

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Togo , 06 Sep 2021

The Chinese government says it will help Togo to deploy satellite television in 200 villages to help the West African country migrate from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

The project is linked to a US$10-billion Chinese fund established to provide digital television access to over 500 sites (including villages, schools and community centres) across Africa.

The DTT project in Togo was originally scheduled to start in 2019 but this was stalled because there was no regulatory framework in place to support it. However, the country has since approved a new digital migration law to facilitate the process.

China’s Deputy Minister of Trade Qian Keming said the two countries “are moving well” with the signing of letters of exchange to launch the project.

“The Chinese side (government) is ready to implement the project once the letters of exchange are signed,” said Keming.

China’s interest in rolling out digital connectivity to bolster Africa’s migration from analogue gained momentum in 2015 following the Forum for China-Africa, hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the event, the Chinese government pledged to provide satellite television access to over 10, 000 villages across 30 countries in Africa and donate set-top boxes and solar panels to over 200,000 African families.

The project has already been implemented in Benin, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, regions where the Chinese firm StarTimes Group has connected villages to satellite television.

In Zambia, the project was implemented in 2018 following collaboration between StarTimes Group and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)-via a TopStar joint venture.

TopStar owns 60% shares in ZNBC and is at the forefront of digital migration.

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