Saturday, 31 July 2010


The Zambian Government has approved the establishment of a National Task Force on digital migration to oversee the country’s process of migrating from analogy to digital by 2015.
Lieutenant General Shikapwasha
Chief Government Spokesperson, Ronnie Shikapwasha said Government recognised the importance of the country changing the mode of broadcast from analogy to digital hence the setting up of this national task force.
Lieutenant General Shikapwasha said President Rupiah Banda had since approved the establishment of the task force and 11 people have been appointed to sit on the task force.
He said the taskforce which would be chaired by Mr. Luwani Soko an expert engineer, is multi-sectoral and would also develop a national roadmap and make recommendations on the digital migration.
He said a number of cooperating partners have shown willingness to partner with Government in this venture.
Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha, who is also Information and Broadcasting Minister, said this at a press briefing in Lusaka.
He said the mandate of the task force would go beyond 2015 and would address consumer complaints during and after the switchover.
He said the task force was expected to develop policy recommendations on measures to guide the upgrading of existing television sets, and control the dumping of obsolete electronic materials.
Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha said the taskforce would also help in formulating appropriate switchover strategy, formulate consumer awareness strategies, monitor and evaluate the awareness and use of new services.
“The terms of reference for the national taskforce are as follows; to formulate an appropriate switchover strategy programme within a specified timetable, to make necessary recommendations relating to the financing of the set top boxes, formulate appropriate consumer awareness strategies, monitor and evaluate the awareness take-up and use of the new services and address consumer complaints during and after the switch,”
He further added that the task force would also recommend a licensing policy regime in relation to network and service licensing.
Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha said it was vital that various thematic areas relating to policy and regulatory matters, technical and financial publicity were addressed.
He said the taskforce would be coordinated by a secretariat and would report to the inter-ministerial committee to be chaired by his ministry.
Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha has since called on the task force to work closely with countries and regulatory bodies within the region such as Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to ensure that the switchover was effected before 2015.

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