TV project for African villages underway
The project to bring satellite television to remote African villages, a result of collaboration between Africa and China, is already having an impact in Nigeria.
Announced at the Johannesburg summit between Africa and China in 2015, the project is named Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages.
It is not only enabling African families in rural areas to have access to digital TV signals with high-quality images and TV programmes but it is also strengthening the partnership between China and Africa.
There are already significant improvements in the communities where this project has been carried out, which is being made possible by Chinese-owned pay TV firm StarTimes.
As stated by Justin Zhang, CEO of StarTimes Nigeria: “StarTimes has installed two solar power projector TVs for the communities, one 32-inch digital TV set with a solar system and 20 satellite dishes and decoders, where they can watch more than 100 international and local channels.”
Aside from giving those in rural communities access to satellite TV, this project has led to the creation of jobs. “Nigerians from various villages have been trained on how to recharge, operate and provide the required maintenance support for all the products installed,” Zhang added.
Feedback was received from some communities in Abuja that had already started enjoying TV services provided by the project. Dimas Daniel, district head of the Hulumi community, commended the project and discussed the benefits to his community.
“The project being executed by StarTimes has positively changed our community, because it has been able to connect the Hulumi community to the global society,” said Daniel.
Bako Auta, another resident of the Hulumi community, said: “I remember how happy we were that evening when StarTimes distributed the decoders and TV sets and other equipment to us in the village. I also remember that so many people had to use generators to view the programme because it was so interesting and we have continued to benefit from it.
“My favourite channels are the foreign ones featured by StarTimes. I prefer them because they tell me what life is like on the side of the world,” Auta continued.
“I have seen so many things happening in the international scene across the sports sector, mechanised agriculture and the cultivation of land in some countries that have the technical ability to engage in it. I love movies and the diplomatic relationships between countries and news among other things.
“I learnt a lot from the channels and I sometimes practice what I have learned through the StarTimes TV programs,” he added.
Meanwhile, a resident of Kpadama village said: “Since the project was commissioned, we have had the opportunity to watch so many happenings that we were not aware of.”
Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, expressed China’s willingness to continue to bring projects that will improve the lot of Nigerians and Africans at large while Xi Jinping, president of China, has continued to express the commitment of his government to boosting the quality of life in Africa.