US$10 billion satellite TV project launched in Zambia
Published on 29th June 2018
A US$10 billion project to provide satellite TV access to over 500 sites (including villages, schools and community centres) across Zambia has been launched.
The project is a collaboration between China's StarTimes Group (via the TopStar Zambia Communication Company – a joint venture between StarTimes and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC))
It was first planned following a 2015 Forum for China-Africa, hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, during which the Chinese government pledged to provide satellite TV access to 10, 000 African villages in some 30 African countries and donate set-top boxes and solar panels to over 200, 000 African families.
China has set 10, 000 villages by 2020 as its target.
Zambia's President Edgar Lungu said "It is a well-known fact that lack of amenities in rural area contribute negatively to development. I'm confident that this project will greatly promote togetherness among the people and afford them an opportunity to be educated through various programmes while being entertained."
Leo Liao, CEO of TopStar Zambia Communication Company said the benefits of digital television should be felt by all citizens.
TopStar owns 60% shares in ZNBC and is at the forefront of Zambia's digital migration.
The Chinese government is also funding Zambia's digital migration project through a US$273 million loan that is to be repaid in 25 years through advertising and tower rental revenue from ZNBC.