Tanzania hails digital TV benefits as crucial for development

Tanzania’s government has reported that it has started to reap the benefits of transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

The government, which decided to migrate in phases from last year December, said it has “successfully” migrated to the digital system.

Prof. Makame Mbarawa, the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, said the digital system’s benefits are huge for any country’s development, adding there are now quality voice and pictures in television broadcasting in the country and even remote parts of the country can now easily get good reception of channels as compared to the earlier analogue system.

Other benefits highlighted include the increase in the number of programmes.

Thus far, Tanzania is the only country in the East African Community (EAC) that has managed to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting technology, a realisation that has prompted visits from neighbouring countries in order to learn how to migrate to the digital system.

Kenya is facing transition hurdles having postponed the migration deadline a number of times, with the deadline for migration in Nairobi now set for September after legal wrangles between the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) and the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK).

Rwanda, another EAC member state, is yet to implement the migration due to what officials termed “challenges in procuring enough of the necessary decoders”.

Other African countries where digital migration has become a contentious issue and where the governments have cited economic constraints as a major hindrance include Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Tanzania’s information ministry permanent secretary Dr Florens Turuka commented that the success in the matter could be attributed to good relations among the stakeholders involved in the process.

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