From: Ikenna Emewu, in Beijing
Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the 41 million home TV view lines in Nigeria are huge economic potential for the growth of the digital migration.
Mohammed said this in Beijing, China, at the ongoing StarTimes 7th Annual Africa Digital TV conference during his address at the forum.
The conference is attended by over 400 delegates from 46 African countries comprising over 30 information ministers.
Minister Mohammed also indicated “digital migration had disrupted the traditional way of communication, saying a new world has been created where the life span of new products has continued to plummet.
The minister noted that the seminar provided an opportunity for African countries to share their experiences about the expansion of digital technology as well as planning for the future.
He pointed out that StarTimes had provided a platform for Nigeria to expand the availability of digital TV and to achieve diversification of the country’s economy.”
In the opening remarks, the President of StarTimes Group, Pang Xinxing said that the African Digital TV Development Seminar has grown into a platform for deeper cooperation and dialogue for the development of the radio and TV sectors in Africa.
Apart from hosting the annual event, Pang also mentioned that StarTimes is ready to complete the 10 Thousand Villages Satellite TV Project under the instruction of Chinese and African governments. The project is China-Africa cooperation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation meeting in the 2015 Johannesburg Summit.
Tong Gang, Vice Minister of China State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television addressed at the opening of the seminar: “The cooperation between Chinese and African media is in accordance with the Chinese advocacy of One Belt and One Road. China is willing to deeper cooperation in the field of media development, promoting the digital migration in Africa.”
During his speech however, Mohammed who had blamed the past administration of Nigeria for not keeping faith with total digital migration in 2014/2015 at the same event last year and assured Nigeria must migrate fully to digital TV service this year avoided any confirmation of the promised migration.
He rather skirted the issue and still went back to his old refrain of blaming the past administration for not migrating Nigeria till now.
He highlighted the benefits of the digital migration of the country’s TV service to digital platform and also noted that the film and video industry of Nigeria would be a major beneficiary thereby enriching the economy.
While some African countries with far lesser TV consumption and penetration already operate the digital TV, Nigeria has not and also has not stated a date for the migration even as the International Telecommunication Union deadline for migration gets closer. Experts at the seminar that ends on Wednesday noted that TV services at the digital option has more benefits and user friendly as it would encourage an integration of the laptop, computers and smartphones and make life easier and information access more assured.
StarTimes has also completed the digitization of TV services in 10 countries of Africa and 81 cities.