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The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit was successfully held in Beijing last week, with over 3,200 participants from China, Africa and international organizations having attended the summit, making it the largest and most high-profile diplomatic event ever hosted by China.

Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in Beijing
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in Beijing

The success of the FOCAC Beijing Summit has once again fully demonstrated that the traditional friendship between China and Africa enjoys a solid foundation, and that China-Africa practical cooperation is full of vitality. It has set new grand goals for upgrading the relations between China and Africa, and China and Africa have always been close partners sharing weal and woe and the same destiny.

StarTimes, Africa’s top digital TV operator as well as a Chinese influential media group, has been a star of China-Africa Cooperation with playing active roles in African digital migration progress, the project of Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages and African HIV/AIDS Prevent Campaign.

During the summit, StarTimes attracted 18 African presidents and distinguished guests to visit its Beijing headquarters and all of them expressed their admiration and support to StarTimes career in Africa.

In Africa, StarTimes has been important partners of governments to achieve the digital migration of the continent, to realize the satellite TV access in African rural areas with undertaking the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”, and to promote the social development with fulfilling corporate social responsibilities.

The first visitor to StarTimes’ headquarters during the summit was Ghana’s First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo on September 2nd. It was during this visit that StarTimes donated 24 football kits to the Rebecca Foundation to encourage Ghana’s teenagers to pursue their football dreams.

Later on the same day, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and the Chinese ambassador to Lesotho Mr. Sun Xianghua came to StarTimes. In order to support the development of public utilities in Lesotho, President Pang Xinxing on behalf of StarTimes Group, donated projector TV sets and solar power generation systems for ten villages to the Lesotho Government, so that more local villagers can watch television and thus know more about the outside world.

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio along with his wife the First Lady, Fatima Maada Bio, and the Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. Wu Peng, visited StarTimes on September 3rd. Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray and Mr. Gu Xun, Managing Director of StarTimes Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation.

On behalf of StarTimes Group, Mr. Pang Xinxing donated projector TV sets and solar power generation systems for fifty villages to the Sierra Leonean government. President Bio expressed his hope for future cooperation with StarTimes Group in the interview.

During his visit, President Bio noted that it presents a great potential for Sierra Leonean people to view programs around the world and the government would give StarTimes necessary support to be able to start and to broadcast.

“I look forward to having StarTimes in Sierra Leone,” he said. On the same day, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi Gertrude Mutharika, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and StarTimes Group Vice President Guo Ziqi held a meeting in Beijing, exploring collaboration on increasing HIV/AIDS awareness among African young people with mobile online video application. For African people, the StarTimes app will provide them with a platform for learning about HIV prevention, which plays an important role in spreading knowledge about HIV prevention and reducing the rate of HIV infection.

On 4th September, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Brian Mushimba, paid a visit to StarTimes and commended the company for their role in the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” and digital TV migration in Zambia.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Minister of Communications and Media Lambert Mende Omalanga, and Minister of Economic Affairs Joseph Kapika Dikancu visited StarTimes on 5th September and witnessed the signing ceremony of establishment of joint venture between StarTimes and DRC.

On the 6th, President of Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera visited StarTimes Group with his wife the First Lady and his delegation. They visited the translation and dubbing center, multi-functional studio, and the research institute. The president spoke highly of the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”.

The President said: “These 103 villages are really important. Because StarTimes can bring news and information to these 103 villages where StarTimes has established its information network, and allows these villagers access to knowing the whole world. This is a remarkable thing for these inhabitants. Therefore, I would like to thank StarTimes for implementing this important project.”

During the summit, Malawian President Peter Mutharika, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi also met with StarTimes President Pang Xinxing in Beijing.

And they all admired StarTimes’ contribution in the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” and expressed their support to the China-Africa Cooperation Project.

The project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” is a China-Africa Cooperation program, which was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4th, 2015 when he was present at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The project is aimed at enabling African families in rural areas to have access to the digital signal with high-quality images and rich TV programs.

There will be 10,112 villages in more than 20 African countries benefiting from the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”. Each village of the will aided with two StarTimes Projector TVs, one 32 inch Digital TV set and 20 DTH decoders and satellite dishes. Projector TVs and Digital TV set will be equipped with solar power systems and DTH access units.

The Projector TVs and Digital TV set will be laid out in the public area of the village, like school or village clinic, which could allow all villagers, especially kids, to enjoy the wonderful digital TV programs.

As Africa’s leading digital TV operator, StarTimes is undertaking the whole project and will accomplish the project under the guide of Chinese and African governments.

In 2006, over 156 members of ITU in Geneva signed a binding treaty about digital broadcasting migration. African countries are committed to switching off analogue transmission and migrating to digital broadcasting by 2015, however, currently most of African countries haven’t achieved the goal. To realize digitalization of TV industry has also been an urgent task for African countries.

As a major system integrator, technology provider, network operator, and content provider in African television broadcasting industry, StarTimes plays a key role in the progress of African digital migration. StarTimes has been involved in the successful digital transformation of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia.

During the summit, with its technical strength and advanced signal transmission technology, StarTimes Group assisted Mozambique's national TV station in broadcasting the China-Mozambique Investment Promotion Conference and Presidential Press Conference in Beijing. StarTimes also provided signal transmission channels for the Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon and other countries, so that people in those countries could receive the latest news from Beijing.

Since 2008 when StarTimes Group went to Africa and cooperated with African governments in promoting the digitalization and informationization of African society, the company has established its presence in more than 30 countries, and are serving more than 20 million users. It has become the fastest growing and the most influential digital TV operator in Africa.

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