Burkina Faso’s DTT project derailed by lack of funding
By Issa Sikiti da Silva
The West African nation of Burkina Faso has only raised 8-billion FCFA (about US$15 million) out of the 46 billion FCFA (US$75 million) needed for the completion of its digital terrestrial television (DTT) process.
As a result, the government said last week that the country will not be able to meet the DTT deadline of 17 June 2015 as requested by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
“Despite this delay, Burkinabés will still watch TV because we will not be asked to pay a fine,” communication minister Frederic Nikiema told a press briefing in the capital Ouagadougou.
“We are working hard to get the funding needed to purchase the appropriate equipment, build the network and try hard to catch up with the delays,” Nikiema added.
However, the news has shocked millions of fervent TV viewers in this impoverished nation of Sahel, many of whom have sought to politicise the issue.
“What will we do come 17 June 2015?” cafeteria owner Bouba Fall asked. “All of this is Blaise Compaoré’s fault. I’m sure he fled with the money destined for the DTT,” he added.
Compaoré, who ruled Burkina Faso with an iron-fist for 27 years, was overthrown last year by a street revolution, and many analysts believe his regime was plagued by state corruption, nepotism and mismanagement.