20
Tue, Nov
4 New Articles

300 VILLAGES TO ENJOY SATELLITE TELEVISION

Technology

The Ministry of Communications has launched the China-Aided Satellite Television project for 300 villages in Ghana at a ceremony in Akweibu, a community in the Ablekuma West Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.

The Ministry of Communications has launched the China-Aided Satellite Television project for 300 villages in Ghana at a ceremony in Akweibu, a community in the Ablekuma West Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.

 

The launch of the project marks another significant milestone in the history of the country in bridging the digital divide and provides access for all citizens to reap the benefits of digitization.

The project is a collaborative partnership between the Government of Ghana and their Chinese counterparts aimed at bringing positive cultural exchanges and also share good bilateral and international relationships.

Launching the project, the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the emergence of ICT is meaningless if it does not provide information and knowledge to empower society to gather, process, store, retrieve and transmit that knowledge and information to create a range of opportunities to accelerate development.

She pointed out that satellite television was one such technology which provides educative, informative and entertainment channels and programming to the beneficiary communities.

The Minister for Communications acknowledged that despite several operating satellite television channels in Ghana, their services had been beyond the reach of the rural and peri urban communities due to the cost of accessing and retaining the subscription for their services.

In this regard, according to the Minister, government as a result of the cooperation between the Chinese government through China-Africa cooperation programme announced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4, 2015, in Johannesburg, China would provide Satellite TV to 10,000 African Villages.

In the project, the 300 villages would have access to digital signals, high quality images and rich TV content as part of the deal.

According to Madam Owusu-Ekuful, the Ministry of Communications has been working in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, the Chinese Embassy and StarTimes Software Technology Co., Ltd,to implement the initiative across Africa.

As part of the processes, she said her Ministry consulted Members of Parliament and MMDCEs to ensure that the needs of the selected villages and communities were taken into account.

Madam Owusu-Ekuful revealed that the project was financed by a grant from the Chinese government under the China-Aided Satellite TV Project and would provide two sets of solar project TV systems, one digital TV integrated with a decoder and digital decoder systems for 300 villages across Ghana.

"2 solar powered projectors TV and 1 TV set will be given access to a bouquet 20 digital channels from StarTimes entertainment free of charge,” she revealed.

The Communications Minister commended the Headmistress and Staff of Akweibu Basic School for hosting the first equipment to be developed as part of the existing initiative.

She reiterated that, as part of government's digitization agenda, no one would be left behind since the objective was to achieve inclusive society where everyone could benefit from the power of Information Communication Technology.

The Chief Operating Officer for StarTimes, Felix Ahonzo, said each community would receive 20 decoders with dishes and accessories installed in selected individual homes, 2 projectors TVs and a StarTimes TV with backup solar light installed at public viewing and recreational centres.

According to Felix Ahonzo, communities that have been selected are Ashanti Region-57, Eastern Region -43, Greater Accra Region-37, Central Region-35, Brong Ahafo Region-31, Northern Region-30, Western Region-24, Volta Region-18, Upper East-17 and  Upper West-8.

He also indicated that a total of 20 channels, predominantly African in content, is expected to cover news, entertainment, Music, Movies, including a brand Ghanaian 'Adepa Channel.'

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, promised the nation that the project does not intend to have any political influence on the nation.

He said the main aim is to share cultural values and project stronger relationships between China and Ghana in particular and African continent in general.

He commended Ghanaians for their hospitality and hoped that the relationship between the two countries would translate into development for the people.