China To Partner 10 African Nations On Digital TV Migration

Cai FuchaoThe People’s Republic of China and 10 African countries entered into a partnership agreement here on Monday for the migration of the Television (TV) signals in those countries from analogue to the digital platform.

This is to enable the African countries to meet the 2015 deadline  set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for all countries to migrate.

The agreement was signed by the Ministers of Information or Communications of the beneficiary countries  at the end of  the Second Forum on China-African Media Cooperation held in Beijing.

The countries involves are Nigeria, Lesotho, Mozambique, Kenya and Sudan.

The rest are Guinea, Tanzania, Zambia, Madagascar and Benin.

The forum, attended by over 150 delegates from over 40 African countries, sought to  enhance communication and dialogue  between China and African governments , departments and media agencies, as well as promote  exchanges and cooperation  in the fields of journalism; radio, TV and film programmes.

Held under the theme ‘Deepening common development through exchange and cooperation’, the forum was also to enable the parties to share  information on technologies and industry , while working  together  to resolve challenges to enhancing cultural and socio-economic  development.

China’s Minister of the State Administration of Press Publication, Radio and Television (SAPPRFT), Cai Fuchao,  who opened the forum, called for more strategic media  cooperation between China and Africa.

That, he explained,  was the only way  to counter effectively, the negative  propaganda used by western media to influence global opinion against both parties.

He added that the story of Africa and China could be told properly  by Chinese and Africans themselves so as to promote their cultural identities that are full of sincerity, objectivity and impartiality for real mutual benefits.

According to Mr. Fuchao, the existing cooperation between the two parties had enabled them to treat each other  with respect  and trust , hence the need to  expand the horizon  through media partnerships  and natural sense of intimacy, instead of allowing the western media to shape it for them.

He assured African countries of China’s continuous support to develop their media infrastructure as well as train personnel to maintain the equipment.

The Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhong Ming, said the bilateral cooperation between China and Africa had doubled to about 400 billion dollars, while over 1,600  talents had been trained.

He said there was a new Joint Africa Research project 1which would address the issues of industrialization, poverty alleviation, peace and security, construction of roads and rails, infrastructure development, as well as new technology in radio and TV.

The Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports of the United Republic of Tanzania, Fenella Mukangara, also underscored the need for more collaboration between Africa and China to enable the continent to maintain its true cultural identity.

She urged the delegates to utilize the new technology  available in China for broadcasting  to build a  modern world for their people, and also ensure that the freedom of  the digital media was not used to undermine national unity and cohesion. By Lawrence Akpalu in Beijing

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