Kenya yet to tap digital broadcasting potential
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 9, 2012, 12:13 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr Bitange Ndemo, Kenya’s Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary speaks on how far the country is in the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting and the untapped opportunities.
How far is Kenya in the analogue to digital broadcasting journey?
The DVBT-2 signal is now available in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. By December, it will be available in all parts of Kenya that have analogue signal. That will be about 80 per cent of the population covered.
What benefits will come with the digital signal?
Digital TV comes with many benefits. Besides sound and picture quality, it can be available in many platforms. Further it gives us the opportunity to create more content in many thematic channels that are arising. By next month, there are going to be vernacular TV channels thus
enabling us to begin to preserve our languages. We shall also be able to provide learning to schools at cheaper rates than ever before.
Does this mean we shall pay to watch once we have the DVBT-2 gadgets or will there be free to-watch channels as there are currently?
No. Free to Air will always be free. There will be many offers of conditional access, but that will the decision of the consumer.
What is the cost of the DVBT-2 after the waiver of import taxes?
I do not know. The costs range from as little as USD5 for basic converter to USD100 for a more advanced converter. Business people have not been importing the basic converters. There are proposals that the Government should actually buy this for consumers just like most countries have done. The trouble will be how to identify who to buy for.
What mechanisms have been put in place to ensure wide reach of these gadgets?
The removal of taxes is one such measure. We also assume that entrepreneurs will find markets throughout the country. Government should not interfere with market forces but if it becomes absolutely necessary there will be some intervention.
What untapped opportunities are there in the digital broadcasting age?
We have not used the digital age to change our image. We need massive content from our end to change this. We also need to change our teaching models to enable the poor to access education.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Ghana’s 800km fibre optic backbone commissionedGhana’s President John Dramani Mahama has commissioned an 800km Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic backbone which runs through 20 districts and over 120 towns and communities in Ghana. Read More
NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chiefNIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy. Read More
Kenyan ICT on track for strong growthThe Kenyan government projects that the country’s ICT sector will approach 20% growth by 2017, with the government making every effort to help boost this growth. Read More
Ghana commissions enhanced CICsGhana’s Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, has commissioned and handed over an Enhanced Community Information Centre (E-CIC) to La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region under the e-governance project. Read More
Rwanda hosts Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds ForumThe Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds (USF) forum brought together broadband stakeholders from all over Africa in Kigali for a three-day forum this week. Read More
Airtel, Ghana Communications Ministry promote girls in ICTAirtel Ghana has partnered the Ministry of Communication to celebrate International Telecommunication Union Girls in ICT Day. Read More
Alcatel-Lucent, Algeria to build Orval undersea cable systemAlcatel-Lucent and the Algerian Ministry of Post, Information Technology and Communications have signed a turnkey agreement for the deployment of the Orval system, an over 560 km fiber-optic undersea cable that will link Oran in Algeria to Valencia, Spain. Read More
Finalists announced for African Utility Week Industry AwardsThe finalists have been announced for the African Utility Week Industry Awards, with the winners to be honoured at the annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa in Cape Town from 12-14 May. Read More
Four million Rwandan youth to participate in #YouthConnektMonthRwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT), in collaboration with various stakeholders, is launching National YouthConnekt Month to kick off on 2 May. Read More
Equatorial Guinea scores multiple investment agreements with Chinese companiesThe Government of Equatorial Guinea has announced the signing of multiple memoranda of understanding with Chinese companies covering large areas of cooperation in the electricity and industrial sectors. Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.
COMPANY NEWSMicrosoft, IICD launch employability hub in Ghana
Microsoft Ghana, in partnership with the International Institute for Communication and Development, has launched the TizaaWorks online platform, a one-stop online hub for employability and entrepreneurship.