Zambia sets up Task Force to kick off the digital transition process


President Rupiah Banda has authorised the establishment of a digital migration national task force to oversee Zambia's change of broadcasting mode, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha has said.

At a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Gen Shikapwasha said the task force would be responsible for the migration process from analogue to digital before the 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union.

"The Government recognises the importance of this matter and this is the reason why a national taskforce on digital migration is being set up. The taskforce is a multi-stakeholder body that would develop a national roadmap, make recommendations and generally oversee the national digital migration process," Gen Shikapwasha said.

He said Luwani Soko would chair the taskforce. Other members would be from public and private radio and televisions stations, the Zambia Information and Communications Technologies Authority (ZICTA) and private mobile service providers.

Gen Shikapwasha said the operations of the taskforce would be coordinated by a secretariat while it would report to the inter-ministerial committee to be chaired by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

The terms of reference would be to formulate an appropriate switch-over strategy, oversee the switch-over programmes, identify likely tailbacks to the uptake of digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast and make necessary recommendations relating to financing of the set up top boxes.

The taskforce would formulate appropriate consumer awareness strategies, monitor the awareness and recommend a licensing policy regime relating to network.