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General News of Saturday, 22 September 2018


No third party in TV project - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Ministry of Communications has emphatically stated that it does not intend to hand over the management of the national Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) infrastructure to any third party.

A statement signed by the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said that the DTT Platform would be managed as a commercial entity incorporated as the Central Digital Transmission Company Limited (CDTCL) and governed by a board with representatives from GBC, GIBA and other industry and content producers.

There were reports that Chinese communication giant, StarTimes, had been contracted to manage the country’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Platform.

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) had called on government to immediately end negotiations with StarTimes over Ghana’s DTT Platform.

According to GIBA, the project, which aims at protecting broadcasting from interference, must not be given to the foreign firm, which also owns a TV network in Ghana.

But the allegations were debunked by government which stated that it had not signed any contracts with the Chinese firm to manage the country’s digital platform.

A press statement signed by Mrs. Ekuful-Owusu yesterday revealed that the broadcasting space is not being handed over to Chinese firm StarTimes as speculated by some Ghanaians.

“The ministry wishes to state emphatically that it has in no way committed to and does not intend to hand over the management of the DTT infrastructure platform to any third party. The DTT infrastructure platform shall be managed as a commercial entity incorporated as the central Digital Transmission Company Limited (CDTCL) governed by a board with representatives from GIBA, TNX Creative Arts Industry and contents Producers, MoF, MoC, the CEO of the CDTCL and the board chair,” the statement said.

It added that “the selection of a contractor and financing options for any aspect of the project ought not to be interpreted as an intention to hand over the ownership and management of the platform to any third party”.

The statement from the Communications Ministry indicated that the DTT infrastructure and 300 communities Satellite TV project were not interrelated.

“The ministry has not reneged on its framework for managing the DTT Platform and wishes to reiterate that the ministry has no intention of allowing StarTimes or any foreign entity to manage the platform,” according to the statement.

It said the 300 Village Satellite TV project is expected to benefit 6,000 households drawn from 300 villages nationwide.

According to the ministry, StarTimes has been working with the Ministry of Communications and various districts and regional representatives to identify the 300 villages.

“The project is another giant step towards helping our citizens to access TV information on national and international events and programmes that would educate and inform them; hence increasing their awareness and knowledge to improve their welfare,” said the Communications Ministry.

It said apart from the 6,000 households, 900 public viewing locations would be connected through two solar powered satellite projector TV systems and 32-inch TV sets for free.

This, according to the ministry, would create an opportunity for selected local youth to be trained to provide maintenance support services for the communities and also provide jobs to over 1,000 Ghanaians.

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