Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has hailed the cooperation between Uganda and China for yielding an $11m (Shs 40bn) satellite television project for 10,000 villages in Africa.
She said last week at the launch of the Uganda phase of the Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages project at Starlight primary school, Butekanga sub-county in Kamuli district.
The initiative aims to reduce the digital divide in African rural areas by giving village communities access to digital television. StarTimes Uganda is implementing the project in 500 villages across the country, mainly targeting public places like schools, health facilities and community centres where local people could have access without restrictions.
The three-year project is among 10 major programs to boost cooperation between China and Africa and is being supervised by both Chinese embassy in Kampala and ministry of ICT.
Kadaga thanked the Chinese government for the continuous support to the development and improvement of standards of living for Ugandans.
She added this project is particularly important to Ugandans because it will help people have access to information through the equipment that has been installed in the different public viewing centres in the 500 villages in Uganda. “Locals will be able to access information on agricultural market prices worldwide, children can use it to improve on their class knowledge,” she said.
Kadaga also asked the Chinese government to expand the donation countrywide. On her part, Zhao Xiufen, the Chinese economic counsellor in Uganda, explained that the diplomatic relationship between the two countries has been predominantly trade.
“During this relationship, China has been investing in and trading with the Ugandan government and individuals. I would like to thank StarTimes Uganda for the great work done. Chinese aid is meant to improve standards of living of Ugandans,” she said.
Andy Wang, the StarTimes Uganda CEO, expressed hope that the people in these areas and the custodians of this equipment take good care of them to ensure that Ugandans benefit from this project.
“Once utilized well, this project will improve on the service delivery. This is because places like schools and health centres can use them for demonstration purposes.
Children can now have access to video illustrations especially in science practicals,” he said. “Secondly, the provision of educational channels like Divinci Learning on the decoders will sharpen the learning exercise and increase innovation amongst pupils in the science sphere.”
This project will ensure effective communication in such a way that many Ugandans will easily be reached especially with government programmes since now many rural Ugandans have access to television.