To redeem its pledge to provide satellite TV reception to 10,000 African villages made at the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa, the Chinese government, on Friday, completed its satellite television project in Malawi.
In a ceremony to mark the event which took place at Nankhwali Primary School in Mangochi, the country’s Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani, received the project on behalf of the Malawian government.
According to him “the project has given people living in rural areas an opportunity to have access to as much information as possible, thereby making the rural communities more enlightened and progressive as they effectively participate in the country’s development and democracy”.
Botomani praised the Chinese government for supporting Malawi’s digital advancement.
The satellite TV project was inaugurated last year by President Peter Mutharika at Mponela 2 Primary School. It aimed at providing the country’s rural masses access to at least 21 TV channels, including three local channels. China’s pay-tv company, Star Times Group, was contracted to implement the project.
In the course of the project, 20 households in each of the 500 villages were identified from all 193 constituencies from Nsanje to Chitipa, in consultation with members of Parliament and Chiefs.
Each village selected received a 32’ TV screen, two projector decoders, three satellite dishes, three sets of solar panels and batteries to power the TV units.
In his speech, the Chinese Charge d’ Affaires, Wang Xiu Sheng, lauded the cordial bilateral relations between Malawi and the Chinese government. He said the satellite TV will enrich the lives of Malawians in many aspects, and connect them to the global digital community.
” This is a happiness project that brings benefits directly to the Malawian people. Both countries are partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic between China and Malawi, we have continued to grow and advance collaborations which have benefitted the Malawian people”, he noted.
” We will constantly improve the quality and efficiency of the China-Malawi cooperation, and promote its transformation and upgrading”, he concluded.
Commenting at the event, Parliament representative and the Minister for Transport and Public Works, Ralph Jooma, appreciated President Mutharika for inaugurating the project, saying it has impacted his constituents, especially pupils who can get new knowledge from some of the educational programmes they watch.