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This made China secure a larger share of Kenya’s television market after one of its firms won a license for distributing digital signals in the country, further cementing the hold of the Asian country in the economy.

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) was therefore set to award the license to Pan African Network Group for one of the two new digital signal distribution licences in a bid that also attracted Signal Distributors Ltd, Mayfox Ltd, Globecast Africa, Africa Link Agencies and a consortium of local broadcasters Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services.

Kenya’s TV market is planning to migrate from the current analogue transmission of signal to digital signal transmission by next June as part of a global initiative that will see broadcasters cede transmission of their content to the Chinese company, which will earn a distribution fee.

The Uganda government on the other hand stopped the acquisition of a $74m loan from the Export & Import (EXIM) Bank of China over alleged procurement flaws and over-pricing. The loan was intended to fund the migration from analogue television to digital of which Uganda plans to achieve by December next year.

Keith Muhakanizi, the deputy secretary to the treasury, last week pointed out that although the memorandum of understanding had been signed, but the loan process had been halted.

“We don’t have any other instructions other than stopping it,” said Muhakanizi adding that the decision to restart the process would come from the Prime Minister’s Office where the project falls.

In Kenya, the Members of Parliament last week planned to block attempts by the government to award the second digital TV signal transmission license to a Chinese company.

Kenya’s chairperson of the house committee on Energy, Communications and Information James Rege, the MP for Karachuonyo told the media in Nairobi that the committee was to meet last week to look into the tendering process with a view to finding out how local firms were knocked out of the bidding process, paving the way for the award of the license to a Chinese firm.

Media reports said that MP Rege was reacting to reports that the Public Procurement Review Committee had ruled against the National Signals Network consortium’s appeal against its disqualification from the bidding process on technical grounds.

Source: allafrica news