GOVERNMENT has signed a US$273 million contract with Star Software Technology Company Limited to undertake phases two and three of Zambia’s Digital Migration Project.
The contract was signed yesterday following the culmination of all the tender processes and procedures that the Ministry satisfied and were fully cleared by the Attorney General.
Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Godfrey Malama said Government was funding the digital migration project as a demonstration of its commitment that Zambia moved with the rest of the World in embracing the digital television broadcasting technology.
“I wish to emphasise that this project, once implemented in full, will create 505 direct jobs and it is estimated that at least 2000 indirect jobs will also be created from agents, technocrats and others, and many more that will be created in the creative industry,” Mr Malama said.
Speaking yesterday at the signing ceremony of $273,154,281.00 contract made up of two major components at the Ministry’s conference room, Mr Malama said Zambia was one of the four countries in the region that partially met the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline.
Mr Malama said Government had no doubt Star Software Technology Company Limited would deliver as provided in the contract as it had already been demonstrated by the manner in which phase one of the project had been executed.
He said these phases included the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of digital terrestrial broadcasting to cover the rest of the country and studio equipment for ZNBC, ZANIS and supplying of 1,250,000 customer care receiving units (decoders, antennae and dishes) and ten new provincial broadcasting stations the Ministry is establishing.
“Construction of six Provincial Broadcasting Stations, a National Operations Center for the Public Signal Distributor, and rehabilitation of ZNBC and ZANIS Studios, in addition, there will be also 12 customer care centers, Lusaka and Copperbelt having two each and one in each of the remaining Provinces,” he said.
He said digital migration was paramount to the dispensation of democracy and was confident that once completed would help people access information and be able to make informed decisions as they take part in periodic elections.
Star Times Group chief executive representative for Eastern Africa Region Ken Xie said the signing of the contract is another milestone for the implementation of digital migration in phases two and three.
“We are happy to be here and help Zambia migrate fully into digital countrywide, the nation will realise the importance of digital migration once implemented, thank you to the Zambian Government’s commitment,” he said.