- Kenya has switched to digital television today, amid concerns from the locals that high prices of converter boxes, used to convert analogue transmission to digital would hamper the migration of millions.
Kenya became the second African state after South Africa to switch to digital television. The switch will enable Kenyans to receive better quality pictures and sound as well as multiple channels.
President Mwai Kibaki who commissioned the switch, led the country in migrating from analogue to the digital terrestrial television broadcasting signal earlier today in the capital Nairobi.
"We have now moved to another world," said the President during the launch at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
According to local reports, Kenyans have three years in which both the digital and analog signals will be broadcast. Analog signals will be switched off in June 2012, three years earlier than the world wide deadline.
KBC has been licensed to relay digital signals starting today for Nairobi, while the target for a full switch over will be June 2012, three years earlier than the worldwide deadline of 2015.
Some Sh152 million has been set aside to kick-start the migration to digital.
Before the 2010 World Cup, Kenyans in Webuye, Nyeri, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru, Kisii and Malindi will be able to watch the games on digital channels, according government sources.
The government two months ago announced that only digital set top boxes that are Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (DVBT) and MPEG4-enabled will be sold in Kenya.
These are higher versions of the signal conversion equipment with the ability to pick up signals from the KBC portal.
The government says the set top boxes should be priced at between Sh3,000 and Sh5,000 but consumers say they are currently priced at Sh10,000.
Digital TV sets that don’t require the set top boxes are priced at between Sh30,000 and Sh500,000 for high definition versions.
Migration to digital broadcasting is expected to unlock the frequencies logjam and break the long queue for licenses by those seeking to invest in Kenya’s vibrant broadcasting sector.
Today’s rollout of digital broadcasting is the culmination of a three-year process that began in October 2006.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.