Satellite TV for African Villages

startimes_logoAt the end of 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a cooperative China – Africa plan descriptively titled “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages.”

The plan proposes to offer 10,000 villages across 25 countries a package of free services to enable satellite TV. Each village will receive two projector TVs, a 32 inch digital TV, and 20 additional satellite dish systems allowing access. The projectors and digital TV are to be set up in public spaces in the village. To address power shortages, each will also have solar panels and batteries allowing six hours of viewing with no power.

While this initiative doesn’t address internet or broadband issues, it is another example of communications and media extending into resource-poor environments.

The plan is progressing, with completion scheduled for 2019. The implementing firm is StarTimes, a Chinese multimedia company with extensive experience in Africa.

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