China has secured agreements with 21 out of 25 African countries that are currently part of a satellite project aimed at providing satellite TV service for 10,000 African villages. "We expect to finish the whole project by the end of 2018," said Pang Xinxing, President of StarTimes, a Chinese digital TV solution provider responsible for implementing the project supported by the Chinese Government.
"The project will donate two sets of solar-powered projector TV systems and a set of solar-powered digital TV in each village, and provide satellite TV receiving systems in 200,000 African rural households", says Pang. "We will train two maintenance professionals for each village to ensure each household has sustainable access to TV services. Besides this, a free five-year broadcast through this service will be availed to the locals," he added.
"China will be responsible for the financing and establishment of the project, while local governments of the partnering African countries identify villages and households in need of the services," said Pang.
Similar installations of TV sets are underway in certain parts of countries like Senegal, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "It's a positive initiative, as the villagers can now access better and modern TV services," said Amadou Diaw, a journalist from Senegalese 2STV.
"Television has become a modern tool for educating people. We hope that through this development, local villagers will have a broader view as to what is happening around world," said Pang.
With a value of $215.87 million, the project is a pledge made by Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of the 10 major cooperation plans at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December 2015.