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StarTimes pledges to facilitate digital revolution for agricultural transformation in Africa

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo (People's Daily Online)    10:01, September 17, 2019

More than 2,300 delegates gathered in Accra, Ghana for the 10th edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) which ran from Sept. 3 to 6.

AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, pulling together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to discuss and commit to programs, investment, and policies to achieve inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.

Under the theme Grow Digital: Leveraging digital transformation to drive sustainable food systems in Africa, leaders from countries across Africa including Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana; Faure Essozimna Gnassaingbe, President of Togo; Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger; Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d’Ivoire; Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria; and Edouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of Rwanda, participated in the forum, sharing their experience in agricultural development in a digital era and contribution to the goals of the Malabo Declaration (2014) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AGRF rallied these leaders and various stakeholders around a common purpose – to unleash the full potential of Africa’s millions of smallholder farmers and agripreneurs. These farms provide about 80 percent of the food and agricultural products consumed across the continent and generate millions of jobs.

As a localized media group, StarTimes proposed to facilitate agricultural development in Africa through digital media. Zhang Junqi, the Vice GM to the Overseas Department of StarTimes Group and the CEO of NTV-STAR TV Network Ltd., addressed and interacted with guests coming from all over the world.

Although digitalization is one of the primary facilitating efforts for knowledge sharing, it is generally recognized that the lack of infrastructure contributes mostly to the low penetration of digitalization in Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would implement satellite TV programs for 10,000 African villages on Dec. 4, 2015 during a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

The project, known as “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”, is among 10 major cooperation programs to boost cooperation between China and Africa, and constructed by StarTimes, which provides rural areas with a direct and effective method to obtain information from all over the world. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, with 10,112 villages equipped with satellite TV.

“The CEO expressed his confidence that the efforts of StarTimes would create access to digital terrestrial content in rural areas across Africa,” Xinhua News reported on the speech of Zhang Junqin on AGRF.

Specifically, Zhang introduced the plan of dissemination. “It is StarTimes’ social obligation to make our platforms available for educational content popularization across Africa. That is the reason that StarTimes offered to broadcast agriculture-related videos from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the relevant resources. These videos will be localized in each country and broadcast in local languages by facilities of the Access to satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages’ project.”

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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