Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya says Government is happy with the support the Chinese Government has continued to render to its development programmes and projects.
Ms. Siliya says the support in sectors such as infrastructure development, health and the economy in general are a clear indication of the warm bilateral relations that have existed between the two countries for a long time now.
Speaking when she called on the Minister of National Radio and Television Administration of China, NIE Chenxi at the Sunrise Kempiski Hotel in Beijing, Ms. Siliya said China has remained one of Zambia’s reliable development partners.
She said Government is happy that China has extended its cooperation and support to the media sector.
Ms. Siliya cited the digital migration project currently being implemented in the country and one of the many examples of support to the media industry.
The Minister said the support to the country’s media sector resonated with Government’s desire to ensure that as many people as possible have access to information, a prerequisite for sustainable national development.
“Information is power. Any efforts directed towards media development are key in achieving our desire of a well-informed citizenry,” she said.
And Ms. Siliya has appealed to the Chinese Government to consider supporting the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and the Zambia News and Information Services with equipment and human resource training to enable the two institutions meet the demands that will come with digital Migration.
She said the two institutions are key strategic public institutions on which citizens depend for information critical to national development.
She explained that Government had decided to make ZANIS a 24-hours Television channel and that this demanded that the institution produces enough and quality content to fill the broadcasting time.
Ms. Siliya noted that Government was determined to ensure that its desires and those of the Zambian people succeeded without hindrances.
“We will need your support in terms of training for our staff at ZANIS and ZNBC to bring them up to speed with the new digital environment they are going into. They will also require support in terms of equipment and transport. We will appreciate this support if given,” she said.
And speaking earlier Mr. NIE who is also the Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China said his Government will endevour to find to areas of cooperation with Zambia to further cement the already existing cordial relations.
He said apart from support to the media in general, the Chinese Government will also strengthen its cooperation with Zambia in the area of new media.
Mr. NIE said this would help the country to provide smart media services as demanded by the ever changing technology.
He assured Ms. Siliya that the Chinese Government would do everything possible to support the Zambian Government in its quest to develop the public media by providing the necessary support.
The Information Minister is in China to attend the 4th Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation and the 8th African Digital Television Development Seminar being held in Huairou District in Beijing.