Drive to increase TV penetration launched

IN A BID TO increase television penetration in the country, the government has launched a special programme that seeks to facilitate affordable access to digital TV sets, especially in rural areas.
Citizens will be able to view at least six channels for free. The New Times/File.
Citizens will be able to view at least six channels for free. The New Times/File.

IN A BID TO increase television penetration in the country, the government has launched a special programme that seeks to facilitate affordable access to digital TV sets, especially in rural areas.

Dubbed ‘Tunga TV”, which literally means “Own a TV”, the initiative also aims at fast-tracking Rwanda’s aspiration to move from analogue to digital broadcasting while at the same time increasing the number of TV viewers countrywide.

The initiative was officially launched on Wednesday in Gisagara district of the Southern Province with officials commissioning a TV viewing centre in Gishubi sector.

The centre is complete with a cable television, two computers connected to the internet as well as a fixed telephone to help people without mobile phones to make calls. The gadgets were installed in partnership with telecom company, MTN-Rwanda.

At the occasion, the Minister of Youth and ICT, Philbert Nsengimana, said the target is to have at least a TV viewing centre in every village across the country.

Nsengimana told residents that the Tunga TV initiative will bring to them “information and knowledge, which are the foundation of development.”

“Knowledge is power and a driving force of development,” Nsengimana said. “One way of obtaining knowledge is through information. That is what we are bringing you today: Information, knowledge and development,” he added as he called on them to make use of the gadgets to spur local development.

Minister Nsengimana said the new programme comes with a lot of business opportunities and invited the private sector to venture into it.

In the beginning, 700 viewing centres will be set up across the country, but their number will keep growing, officials said. The Ministry of ICT has partnered with a number of actors in the area of ICT to ensure the success of the initiative.

With the centres, residents will be able to view at least six channels free of charge. In rural areas, solar-powered TV sets will be installed to make sure that even residents in the remotest areas benefit from the initiative, according to Nsengimana.

It is expected that the programme will push TV penetration from the current six per cent to 40 per cent in the next five years, officials said.

Vincent Macumi, a resident of Gabiro cell of Gishubi sector, commended the initiative and said they expect to earn a lot from it.

“This is an opportunity for us to watch what is going on elsewhere outside this village and certainly we shall learn a lot from what others are doing,” the 45-year-old man said.

“It will also be an occasion for us to relax after laborious work days,” he added.

As part of the ongoing ICT literacy and awareness campaign, a two-day ICT exhibition was also opened in Ndora sector.

The exhibition attracted telecommunication companies, banks and other financial institutions, public institutions and dealers in electronics, among others.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News