Kenyan homes, institutions benefit from China’s free digital TV project




The Chinese government has handed over the 800 digital TV project to Kenya as part of the 10,000 Villages Digital Television Project in Africa. The project that was launched in June 2018 has been successfully implemented across the 47 counties through installation of satellite TV services in public institutions and select individual households.

Twenty households in each of the 800 villages were installed with Satellite TV service composed of a satellite dish, a high definition set top box and accessories while three public institutions in each village received two solar powered satellite projector TV systems and one 32-inch TV set. In total, 16,000 individual households and 2,400 public institutions have benefitted from the project.

(TOP: Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng – seated left – and Hesbon Malweyi, the ICT Director – seated right – sign the technical transfer documents during the handover of the 10,000 digital TV project that was funded by the Chinese government. 16,000 households and 2,400 public institutions benefited from the project. Looking on is StarTimes CEO Andy Wang – standing left-; Augustus Munywoki from the Ministry of ICT; and ICT Authority CEO, Catherine Getau).

Speaking during the handover ceremony, ICT CS Joe Mucheru, who was represented by the ICT director Hesbon Malweyi, said: “I’m happy to note that the 10,000 village’s project has not only absorbed 1,600 of our youth to work as maintenance personnel but also has been implemented through satellite television technology thereby reaching every corner of our country with a balanced mix of both local and international channels.”

The project cost Kshs 843 million, this being Kshs 428 million equipment and Kshs 414 million implementation cost and rolled out through the Ministry of ICT with digital TV company StarTimes as the contractor where the Ministry taskforce developed set criteria that was used to qualify beneficiaries ensuring equity in the distribution process.

On his behalf, the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Wu Peng said that: “The 10,000 digital television project has gone a long way towards driving access to information and especially in the rural areas which has played a significant role in China-Africa people-to-people exchange, thereby enhancing the level of China-Africa cooperation.”

StarTimes Kenya CEO, Mr Andy Wang said that: “We applaud the Government of China for conceptualizing this initiative 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 and according relevant support key in empowering our communities through television.”

The 10,000 village project is among the ten Cooperation plans announced during the sixth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) announced in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa by Chinese President Xi Jinping and attended by Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegation, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers in charge of economic cooperation from China and 50 African countries.

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