Business / Economy

China to invest in TV digitalization in Africa

By Yang Cheng and Wang Sujuan ( Updated: 2012-08-27 15:47

The China Africa Development Fund and China Development Bank have promised to invest heavily into the digitalization of TV in African countries.

Since 2007, $100 million has been provided to the project by the China Africa Development Fund and another $50 million is coming, according to Chi Jianxin, president of the fund, speaking at the African Digital TV Development Ministerial Seminar on Sunday.

The China Development Bank has offered $400 million in loans for the project and another $400-million loan is expected to go to it in the near future.

The project was begun by the private media group StarTimes, which has its headquarters in Beijing.

To date, more than 1.4 million families in 13 African countries have enjoyed access to state-of-the-art digital television service, and the firm has provided about 140 TV channels, according to Pang Xinxing, chairman of the company.

Of the 2,000 people working at the firm, about 85 percent are African residents, he said.

Pang also announced an ambitious goal of "enabling every African family to afford, access and watch good digital TV, enjoy digital TV and build the firm into Africa's most influential digital TV operator".

"People love the Chinese soap operas that are being broadcast by StarTimes in our country," added Said Ali Mbarouk, Zanzabar minister of information, culture, tourism and sports. "We expect our broadcasting time will be longer than three hours a day now."

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