Most African countries will not make the digital transition in June 2015, according to the CEO of Balancing Act

Regulation & Policy

Russell Southwood made a disturbing statement about the digital transition in Africa whose deadline was set at June 2015 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU): “Almost 45 African countries, that is to say almost all, will miss the ITU deadline” said Russell Southwood  CEO of Balancing Act, a consultancy company based in the United Kingdom.

He said that over a speech at the World Congress of rural telecommunications in Africa, SatCom2014, which was held from May 19 to 21 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mr. Southwood also said that the satellite industry has not experienced the same levels of development in Africa such as mobile phones and the Internet. Although there exists several initiatives to provide satellite services at low cost, he added.

Russell Southwood especially recalled the case of countries where digital transition is the subject of litigation. Kenya does not advance because the state is in a legal battle with three media groups. In South Africa, several operators in the sector have accused the Minister of Communication to enjoy the digital transition project to serve its own interests. Charges that the Minister Yunus Carrim has rejected. Meanwhile, Rwanda has extended to 31 July the digital migration as a result of decoders supply problems.


Balancing Act recently published a field report highlighting progress made over DTT by country in Africa - where 11 countries have partially launched DTT - including 2 countries that have completed ASO.

Source: Agence Ecofin – translated from French by Balancing Act