Sakeni announces new digital migration taskforce team

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Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni yesterday reconstituted a national taskforce on digital migration in a move aimed at accelerating Zambia’s digital migration process.


The reconstituted 11 member team will be headed by Zamtel chief technical officer Sydney Mupeta, who replaces Luwani Soko as Chairperson of the Taskforce.


Mr. Sakeni, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, said government was confident that it has assembled the right brains and right competences to successfully guide the nation in migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting within the stipulated deadlines.


He urged the taskforce to update the nation on the current roadmap on digital migration with particular emphasis on stakeholder and public sensitisation, consultation and participation to ensure a people driven digital migration process.


He stressed that the process should be inclusive of all stakeholders as both drivers and beneficiaries of the digital age.


Mr. Sakeni, who was flanked by his Deputy Minister Mwansa Kapeya, said it was government’s expectation that the reconstituted taskforce will engage in wide and extensive consultations with the public and other stakeholders in coming up with a policy framework on digital migration.


He called on all stakeholders to work with the government in making Zambia’s digital migration a success.


He also reminded the members of the taskforce that the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, has set June 17, 2015 as the deadline for all member countries to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting.


At regional level, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) adopted December 31, 2013, as the deadline for digital migration.


This is in order to give countries in the region ample time to address teething challenges that may arise in the migration process ahead of the ITU deadline.


In view of both the ITU and SADC deadlines and the realistic timeline in which to mobilise resources, the government adopted December 31, 2014 as the date by which all analogue terrestrial television transmission shall be switched off in the country.


Mr. Sakeni has since congratulated the members of the taskforce on their well deserved appointments.


Other members of the taskforce include Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Acting Director for Planning, Press and Public Relations Beaton Kaluba, Ministry of Information Acting Chief Planner Boyd Chirwa, ZNBC Director of Engineering Malolela Lusambo and Airtel Head of Corporate Communications and Government Relations Jerome Kawesha.


Others are Casat television Managing Director Mutale Kaenga, Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) Director of Technologies and Engineering Patrick Mutimushi, Radio Christian Voice Technical Manager Francis Musonda, Ministry of Information Planner Philip Chilonga and Ministry of Information Public Relations Officer Susan Zulu.