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'We have done it because we have been looking East' says Mugabe

by Staff Reporter
19 Feb 2013 at 17:19hrs | 3510 Views
President Robert Mugabe has urged broadcasting authorities to put to good use the new US$6,5 outside broadcasting equipment and a satellite up-link for the good of the nation.

Mugabe was speaking soon after the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu introduced members of the ZBC and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, who brought the multi-million dollar new equipment to State House in Harare this Tuesday.

The President went down the memory lane, saying China has transformed greatly from the days of Mao Tse Tung and is now a giant in modern technology.

He also said the Look East Policy, which Zimbabwe embarked on years ago, is bearing fruit and urged local engineers and technicians to learn from their Chinese counterparts.

"This equipment is indeed an innovation and as we have just been told, some of the machines have come to Africa for the first time and if we are the first to have received these machines then we must beat our chests and say Zimbabwe has done it. We have done it because we have been looking East for a long time and found a good friend, China," said Mugabe.

Mugabe underscored the need for Zimbabwean schools to vigorously teach science and mathematics as these are the major engines for economic growth.

The ZBC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Happison Muchechetere showed-around President Mugabe the new equipment which includes one of the first high definition cameras to be brought into Africa.

Mr Muchechetere later called on the sporting world and advertisers to visit the ZBC and have a taste of the equipment that is set to improve broadcasting in Zimbabwe.

He also said ZBC studios will soon go digital with radio alone reaching 80% coverage countrywide.

Mr Muchechetere said the latest development is keeping in line with the June 15, 2015 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline which calls for the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting by that year.

Speaking at the same occasion, Minister Shamu raised optimism that the country will meet the ITU deadline.

He said the programme is mandatory for all countries worldwide under the auspices of the ITU, adding that Zimbabwe has made considerable progress in the process.

"We can report considerable progress arising from the assistance we have got from the Chinese government which has donated a digitalised state of the art Outside Broadcast Van and a satellite Up-link Van," said Shamu.

Shamu however said there is need for the country to source more money for the digitalisation process.

"If Zimbabwe is to meet the August 2013 deadline, alternative financing models and sources have to be found," he said.

The minister said the SADC broadcasting digital migration cut-off date is August 2013, which is meant to provide a two-year grace period during which any challenges are resolved before the ITU deadline of 2015.

There are two parts to the digitalisation programme for Zimbabwe and these are the digitalisation of ZBC studios and its electronic news gathering side as well as the transmission to carry both radio and television signals countrywide.

Source - ZBC
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