Ghana: Digital migration deadline to be missed

By Dasmani Laary in Accra

Posted on April 10, 2015 11:12

Ghana says it will not be able to meet International Telecommunications Union (ITU) June 17 to migrate its broadcasting systems from analogue to digital due to lack of money.

Ghana’s communications minister, Kofi Omane Boamah made the announcement barely a month after the government made an assurance that the deadline would be met.

He said the government had experienced problems securing China Exim Bank loan facility. The migration to digital broadcasting would cost $95 million.

A new deadline of February 2016 has been set by the government.

“I must say that government is committed to the migration process, it is doing everything possible to complete the deployment of infrastructure across the country by February 2016,” Boamah said.

Once the deadline passes, analysts say there would be no more international support by the ITU for analogue signals against disruptions from neigbours who would have migrated to digital.

Ghana is expected to rake in at least $ 230 million from the sale of spectrum when the country completes the digitisation process.

The process would also provide jobs for jobless youths and opportunities for journalists and technicians.

Broadcasting sound and pictures would improve while local content would be promoted, creating opportunities for those in the creative art industry, the communication ministry said.

Following the 2006 Geneva Convention of which Ghana is a signatory, the ITU set June 2015 as the deadline for its 193 member states to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television form.

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