Red tape slows digital migration
GOVERNMENT| Sept. 29, 2012, 7:43 a.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
The next stage of Malawi’s digital migration process has been delayed as it awaits cabinet scrutiny.
At a digital migration message development workshop in Zomba earlier this week, the Director of Information and Civic Education, Isaac Ziba, said a team set up to conduct the task last month had concluded the drafting of the policy on the new technology. This now awaits submission to cabinet ministers in October.
Acknowledging that the process has taken a snail’s pace, Ziba said: “We have made some progress, although we could have done better.”
While most countries in the region have procured the necessary technology to effect the migration, Malawi is still tinkering with different options on how best to execute the migration process.
“There is also a statement on the whole digital migration process which will be presented to Cabinet for approval so that we can start procuring required equipment and implementing the communication strategy,” Ziba said.
Malawi is expected to switch to digital broadcasting by 31 December 2013, and already unveiled its Digital Migration Communication Strategy expected to provide a framework for communication of the Digital Broadcasting Migration Project.
The digital migration message development workshop is part of this draft policy, which aims at sensitizing all stakeholders and the public.
The strategy is intended for all stakeholders who will be affected by the migration process from analogue to digital broadcasting and will also ensure that all affected stakeholders understand and fully participate in accordance with their roles in the country.
Ziba said limited funding and lack of full time staff on the project had limited its progress.
“Our wish is that all licenced TV operators should broadcast on a digital platform. It would be immoral to us for them to start broadcasting on analogue platform and then you tell them to switch off to digital after they have already spent a lot of money on analogue equipment,” explained Ziba, who revealed that government has allocated K500 million in the current budget to expedite the process.
The information director said under digital transmission, all television service consumers will be required to have decoders to watch all television programming, including MBC-TV.
“The new technology will enable consumers to receive several television channels with high quality pictures and sound at once,” said Ziba.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Benin to increase ICT expenditure in 2015Ranked 23rd in Africa and 149th globally by the 2014 ITU ICT Index, Benin wants to repair its image of being a weak ICT spender carrying one of the continent’s less developed ICT sectors. Read More
Senegal govt, AfDB to build US$120 million digital parkThe Senegalese government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will join forces to put aside about US$20 million and US$100 million, respectively, to build a mega-digital park in the city of Diamniadio. Read More
Govt confirms NATCOM’s $252m Nitel/Mtel purchaseThe Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the sale of former state-run but now moribund telco, the Nigerian Telecommunication (Nitel) and its mobile arm, Mtel to NATCOM Consortium for $252 million. Read More
Angola takes science and technology roadshow to schoolsAngola’s Minister of Science and Technology has hailed a programme carried out this year to increase school learners’ understanding of science, technology and innovation. Read More
Senegal to issue smart ID, voter’s cardsThe government of Senegal is planning to issue new smart ID documents and voter’s cards, a project it said will strengthen the administration and fight identity theft. Read More
MTN, Orange, Cameroon govt launch Mobile Tax serviceThe Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange. Read More
BTCL IPO date reset againThe embattled BTCL IPO launch date has not seen the last of its changes yet. Read More
Botswana tops Africa Prosperity ReportBotswana tops the 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, as the continent enjoys unprecedented economic upturn, but Africa faces new challenges in gender gap and personal freedom. Read More
Mali Digital Plan 2020 to reorganise economyThe coordinator of Mali’s proposed ICT development strategy believes digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise people’s lifestyle and working relationships, boost culture and improve education, among others. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.