Hulumi District Head, Dimas Daniel
As 1,000 Nigerian villages have benefited from the 10,000 African Villages Project, an initiative of the Chinese Government anchored by StarTimes to provide digital TV access to rural communities across Africa, some residents discuss the socio-economic impact of the project on their lives while appealing to the cooperation to extend the project to more communities.
Francis Kadiri reports.
It will be recalled that on the 4th of December, 2015, the President of China, Xi Jinping announced at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that China would implement satellite TV programs for 10 thousand African villages. The project, known as “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”, is part of China-Africa cooperation programs and is aimed at enabling African families in rural areas to have access to the digital signal with high-quality images and rich TV programs.
The Chinese Government kicked off with the launch of a pilot satellite TV project held in Hulumi village in the suburbs of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, on Thursday August 10, 2017. The residents of benefitting communities commend the diplomatic cooperation between the governments of Nigeria and the Peoples Republic of China on the significant impact of the project as it positively impacts the socio-economic lives of the befitting communities.
In Hulumi Village, the district head, Dimas Daniel who could not hide his excitement discussed some of the impacts of the project and how it has positively changed so many things in the life of its people. According to him, the residents had only been familiar with analog TV, thereby lacking the opportunity to watch some of the exciting satellite TV channels enjoyed by people in other towns and cities in the country but the Chinese satellite TV has brought everlasting joy to the people of Hulumi.
“We are learning a lot from information that we could not access until the commissioning of the project that established a major linkage between Hulumi village and the global community as the programs featured on StarTimes reflected cultures and lifestyles of other peoples of the world. Emphasizing on the importance of Satellite TV in the community, Dimas noted that every evening, locals who had no television or lacked electricity supply gathered at the village square to watch their favorite channels on a large projection screen provided by StarTimes.
Speaking on the appropriate measures through which the community can solve problems encountered occasionally. Dima noted that “Sometimes the dish shifts and it results in loss of signal, we appeal for the availability of trained personnel to address the challenge.
Meanwhile, In Kpadama village, one of the 1,000 villages carefully selected to benefit from the China-aid program also witnessed the revolution that changes the life of the community with the advent of the Chinese Satellite TV. The excitement in the eyes of the village spoke person of Kpadama Village, Yusuf Aliu who expressed satisfaction on the implementation of the China-Africa project implemented by StarTimes as a turning point in the life of Kpadama village while describing it as “the talk of the town.
Aliu who could not hide his excitement invited our correspondent to watch the satellite television together with his family, adding that he enjoyed watching football and news channels the most, while his wife and three children love channels with entertainment contents.
Speaking in the same vein, another resident of Kpadama village who is a foundation staff of the project, Mr. Haruna Makarfi expressed his satisfaction towards the Satellite TV installation, noting that requests by prospective StarTimes subscribers is on the rise as a result of the beneficial programs of the channels.
“StarTimes features interesting movies on the Love life and other interesting things happening in the society such as family Life, Business issues etc. My keen interest is watching football”. Already, requests for StarTimes decoders are on the rise because of the good reputation it earned from its services. He concluded.
Digital TV used to be luxury in African market with a very high price, but the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” makes it possible for people in African rural villages to enjoy the beauty of digital TV. The project will not only help break the monopoly of digital TV industry in African market, but also promote the balanced development in African region.
The project is being implemented with a view to open a window for African rural families to learn from the outside world. People cannot only be able to watch wonderful TV programs, but also acquire more useful information to expand their horizon and change their destinies. To popularize satellite TV in African rural areas, in which information resources are very limited, will help people there to learn knowledge and get rid of poverty.
Through the satellite TVs, African governments can popularize knowledge of agriculture, science, sanitation and so on in rural villages. By watching TV, people can learn more useful knowledge and skills.
The project can also create huge job opportunities and sustainably contribute to the growth of economy. To ensure the long-term operation of the project, a mast of local staffs will be hired to fulfill different duties.