By Elias Mhegera, Beijing – Star Times one of the biggest suppliers of digital modems plans to venture into a major expansion of its services in Africa after completion of its headquarters in Nairobi Kenya.
Speaking to this reporter in her office in Beijing the company’s Vice President Ms. Quo Ziqi boasted that her company has registered major success in China and now it is the time for other consumers in partner states of Africa to enjoy the same services.
“We strive to ensure that our costs are as low as anyone can afford at least at a cost of not more than 10 USD, we have played a great role in Tanzania during its transition from analogue to digital communications systems,” she added.
While in Tanzania this company is mostly known for its supply of modems, but in China it has more other business apart from TV and radio stations. Other businesses are of mobile devices like tablets, ipads and mobile phones, but also solar panels.
The visit to the media house indicated that more than 1000 people are employed for various functions ranging from news collection, broad and telecasters but also technicians. The company now strives to create employment opportunities in Africa as well.
The company has designed a solar overhead projector television facility with low consumption of power which can be used in family settings with a capacity to store power up to 10 hours. The size of the screen of this technology is adjustable and well prepared for a big audience.
“We are proud we have been of service to Africa and many of its leaders such as presidents and prime ministers but also ministers and prominent people in the world including world class actors have been visiting us in various occasions,” she remarked.
Assisted by her colleagues in the company’s management, she said her company that was founded in 1988, has received various awards due to good performance. It has managed to penetrate its services even to areas with wars in Africa where others were shutting down their investments.
Her company which has extended services to more than 35 countries in the African continent more than seven million subscribers while the total number of users of its facilities is more than 10 million.
Amongst its popular channels in this continent include sports and games, like the Germany’s Bundesliga Super Sports etc. For the first time the company established its businesses in Rwanda but later its closer neighbours like Tanzania enjoyed the same.
With more than 440 channels the company provides services to consumers of various languages and tribes ranging from English, French, and Kiswahili to Hausa, Arabic and many others.
In Africa alone this company has created jobs, and it has over 200 business partners, and this cannot be ignored in a company which started to work overseas just in the year 2000.
So far the company has set up 15 ground uplink stations, 5 large-scale digital TV play out centers, 175 DTV transmitters. Hence a multi-layer wireless digital TV transmission platform that has combined DTH, terrestrial TV and mobile multi-media broadcasting systems, and it can cover 90 percent of the total population in Africa.
But general the media and performing arts have generated big sources of income to youngsters who otherwise are amongst the most affected whenever there are no proper plans in place.
A visit to various media and marketing companies have shown that a good number of them have a special policy of job creation both internally and externally in the receiving companies of the Chinese investments.
Some of the media houses where Shout-Africa.com registered its presence were at the People’s Daily, a media house owned by the China of Party of China (CPC) its news paper was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992 as one of the world’s top ten newspapers.
But also there are performing art centers with an intention to communicate messages and maintain culture. To a large extent such groups have managed to thrive and register big successes because of the media support.
For instance, the Binglanggu Hainna Li and Miao Cultural Heritage Park that was founded in 1998, preserves cultural heritage where ethnic festivals are carried from time to time so as to preserve culture but at the same time creating jobs.
In this aspect African countries can learn a lot on how to invest in the rich culture which has been neglected in so many areas due to an excuse of lacking funds and trained personnel to man the projects.
Learning from the Miao Culture a combination of songs, dances, and even traditional African costumes is very possible in many nations of the continent if at all efforts are directed towards this area.
It is African themselves who should appreciate first the beauty of their continent before others can do so. If the agreement between China and Africa as derived from FOCAC, will be affected then there will be fundamental aspects not only for cultural tourism but also for job creation.