Rwanda: Chinese Invest Big Into IT and TV in Rwanda

Investment

A Chinese based company has officially launched a subsidiary in Rwanda to provide digital Pay-TV and broadband Internet services. The locally registered Star Africa Media Co. Ltd is a subsidiary of the Star Communication Network Technology Co. Ltd based in the capital Beijing.

During the launching ceremony at the Kigali Serena Hotel recently, the CEO and chairman of the company Xinxing Pang said the company wanted to construct a wireless digital Pay-TV station based on Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (DVB-T) and a laid down broadband cable in Kigali.

"Construction work of a Pay -TV station will be completed at the end of this year. This is the first phase of the project," Pang said, adding that the second phase that will see the broadband system in place will commence in the first quarter of 2008.

"We are going to provide internet to the people in Kigali first and they shall be accessing it using their mobile phones," Pang revealed.

If the Rwanda model project succeeds, Pang said the next move would be to move into the neighbouring countries.

The Chinese ambassador to Rwanda Mr. De'en Qi, who was at the ceremony said it was the first investment of such magnitude from China to Rwanda.

"This is a boost to ICT development as well as growth of the Rwanda national economy," Qi said.

The connection of voice, data and video services will be carried out simultaneously and made possible with the broadband cable system.

"The vision of Star Communication Network Technology is to make sure every Rwandan can access wireless digital Pay-TV and Internet services.
We hope that with the support of the Rwanda government, Star Africa Media will be accessed," Pang told guests.

Rwanda's foreign affairs minister and chief guest, Mr. Charles Murigande said that the investment showed China's commitment to strengthen co-operation between the two countries.

Star Communication's entry into Rwanda follows President Paul Kagame's official visit to China about two months ago.
East African Business Week