CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI, Kabwe
KABWE has become the third district in the country where Government has kicked off the construction of 10 provincial television stations at a cost of US$273 million.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga said Government has already started constructing television stations in Solwezi and Choma districts in North-Western and Southern provinces, respectively.
The total cost of the entire digital migration project under phases II and III is US$273 million.Â This includes construction of six provincial studios and provision of equipment for these facilities which will be in Kabwe, Mongu, Kasama, Chipata, Mansa, Kabwe and Chinsali.Â Funding for Choma and Solwezi studios is provided for separately.
Ms Mulenga, who is also chief Government spokesperson, said during the ground-breaking ceremony in Kabwe yesterday that the broadcasting stations will put emphasis on local programmes.
â€œSo far, construction of provincial television stations in Solwezi and Choma is already under-way. The construction of the television stations will be rolled out to all provincial centres of the country,â€ Ms Mulenga said.
She said the television stations will be constructed by Star Times Group, adding that Government wants people to access information regardless of their social status so that they can participate in national governance and development.
Ms Mulenga, who earlier paid a courtesy call on Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga and later featured on a live programme on Power FM radio station, said the television stations will help in production of home-grown programmes.
She said Government has also made progress on the digital migration process in ensuring that Zambia moves with the rest of the world in embracing the digital television broadcasting technology.
The minister said Government has secured a loan for installation of digital facilities country-wide. She said this includes rehabilitation of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and Zambia News and Information Services production studios.
And Mr Mushanga said the establishment of a television station in Central Province is an indication of Governmentâ€™s commitment to bridging the information gap between urban and rural areas.
â€œPeopleâ€™s expectations from the television station are numerous considering that from barely a province comprising six districts a few years ago, Central Province now has 11 districts, each with its own challenges and peculiarities,â€ Mr Mushanga said.
And Star Times Group chief representative for Eastern African region Ken Xie said the company will complete the project within the agreed time-frame and will do quality works.
Central Province permanent secretary Chanda Kabwe challenged the media to be professionad and uphold the tenets of journalism.