Zambia: govt suspends customs duties on transmission equipment

Regulation & Policy

In an effort to ensure successful migration to digital broadcasting, the Zambian government has suspended customs duties on transmission equipment for a period of two years.

Authorities believe this will help facilitate the introduction of new equipment and help boost the country's broadcasting sector by improving quality of output.

Zambia is home to more than 150 radio and television stations.

The minister of Finance and National Planning Alexander Chikwanda said the action by authorities will enable broadcasters to import equipment more cost effectively.

The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) director general Josephine Mapoma said most television and radio stations have been struggling to expand their coverage or apply to open stations because of the high cost of importing equipment.

"I therefore call upon broadcasters to take advantage of the tax break to upgrade infrastructure and import digital broadcasting equipment," Mapoma said.

In June Zambia migrated along the line of rail under phase 1 of the digital migration project. Phases 2 and 3 have yet to begin.

The Southern African country has struggled with the migration deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) due to various challenges, including the importation of migration equipment.

Source: ITWeb 20 October 2015