China hands over $80 million digital TV project to Kenyan government

StarTimes Kenya, the contractor of Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages, a China-Africa Cooperation project that aims to reduce the digital divide in African rural areas, on Friday officially handed over the $80 million digital television project to the Kenyan government.

Launched in June 2018, the project benefited 800 villages across Kenya’s 47 counties. Twenty households in each of the villages were installed with satellite television service composed of a satellite dish and a high definition set top box.

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

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

Additionally, 1,600 technical personnel received special skills training in installation and maintenance of the digital television project.

“We applaud the government of China 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 and the 1,600-member technical support team, local leaders and communities worked together to successfully implement the project.

“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 socio-economic and political prosperity of our economies,” he said.

In a speech read on his behalf at the handover ceremony, Joseph Mucheru, the cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication, thanked the Chinese government and StarTimes, as well as other local partners for making it possible to realize the project.

“This is a true testament of mutual relationship and cooperation between our two countries, as well as the private sector. It’s my hope that we will see greater opportunities arising from here moving forward,” Mucheru said.

He said the realization of digital satellite and terrestrial reception is a major achievement in ensuring that Kenyans have access and enjoy the benefits of the digital platforms that will enable them to acquire information necessary for decision making in the knowledge-based economy.

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