West African experts assemble in Côte d’Ivoire to discuss digital transition opportunity
Eutelsat Communications (and the ATU (African Telecommunications Union) are combining their knowledge and experience to propose a conference in Abidjan on 15-16 December on the transition to digital broadcasting and telecommunications services across West Africa. Devised in cooperation with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and ECOWAS, the conference will bring together ITU and World Bank experts in addition to ICT ministers, broadcasters, regulators, policy-makers and finance institutions from 15 countries in the region, from Senegal to Nigeria.
The high-level conference is a unique opportunity for experts to share their views on the stakes for building successful digital broadcasting systems, including spectrum allocation, energy, technology and funding solutions, sustainable business models, programme diversity, timing, user equipment costs and distribution and public awareness.
The official opening address will be made by Bruno Nagagné Koné, Minister for ICT of the Côte d’Ivoire. It will be followed by a welcome address by Abdoulkarim Soumaila, Secretary general of the ATU and Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial and Development Officer who will present the company’s experience in satellite delivery of DTT multiplexes to terrestrial towers and direct-to-home broadcasting to viewers beyond range of terrestrial networks.
The transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in West Africa represents the biggest challenge since television was first launched in the region. The multiple opportunities this transformation brings include:
- Improving signal quality and expanding diversity of content for citizens;
- Extending viewer access to broadcasting services by leveraging satellite and terrestrial platforms;
- Stimulating employment and wealth by supporting locally produced content and content developers in West Africa.
The conference will be a platform where stakeholders can address challenges and exchange ideas for tangible solutions that cost-efficiently and equitably accelerate the switch-off of analogue broadcasting and that build an inclusive digital society.