About 500 selected villages, schools and other community centres across Zambia have received the village television sets under the Chinese funded satellite project, part of the outcomes of the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. Under the project, China pledged to provide satellite TV in 10,000 African villages in 25 countries. The government has partnered with TopStar, a subsidiary of StarTimes in rolling out the televisions, Xinhua noted.
Chanda Kasolo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said the project was helping people in rural areas to be part of everyday social and economic development of the country. In remarks delivered after he toured some village television projects in central Zambia's Mumbwa district, the official said people in different communities are able to follow what was happening in the country and was helping reduce the levels of poverty and illiteracy, according to state-run news agency, the Zambian News and Information Service.
He said people in all the communities he has visited have described the project as timely and well thought-out, adding that the government was in discussions with TopStar for another allocation of 500 kits that will be installed in more communities.
"This project is fantastic indeed. Pupils now have a career choice because you cannot become what you have never seen. Even here at Mwembeshi rural health center patients are able to watch news as they are waiting to be attended to," he said, as reported by Xinhua.
Kelvin Lungu, a deputy head of Mwembeshi Primary School hailed the project, saying it was making it easier for teachers to teach lessons. The project, he said, was also helping the pupils in rural areas keeping breast with other pupils in the urban areas and he commended the government for bringing the project to the school.
Cliff Sichone, Vice-President of TopStar said the firm installed all the 500 TV kits by the fourth quarter of 2018 and was happy with the feedback from the communities.