China investing millions in Africa’s digital switchover

Investment

The China Africa Development Fund and China Development Bank have committed to invest large sums of money in the digitalisation of TV in African countries.

Chinese news source China Daily quotes Chi Jianxin, president of the China Africa Development Fund, as saying at a seminar organised by Beijing-based private media group StarTimes that the development fund has already invested US$ 100mn since 2007, and has earmarked a further US$ 50mn for the project.

China Development Bank meanwhile has offered a whopping US$ 400mn in loans for Africa’s digital switchover initiatives, and may double this figure in the near future, according to the report.

StarTimes operates digital TV services (delivered via DTH) across Africa, serving more than 1.4mn homes in 13 African countries with around 140 channels, and its chairman Pang XinXing has indicated that he wants to make the company into Africa’s most influential digital TV operator.