BY DELPHINE ZULU –
FRANCE has congratulated Zambia on her successful migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting under phase one of the country’s digital migration programme.
French Ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet said yesterday that his country was interested in widening its cooperation with Zambia as the country migrates from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Mr Cohet said France had since offered its radio and television channels, among them France-24, as a way of assisting Zambia boost its content as the country migrates from analogue to digital television
“France 24, for example, has a very strong focus on Africa which we feel could be a good channel to have on the Zambian digital television platform,” Ambassador Cohet said.
He was speaking yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Information and Broadcasting Services Minister and Chief Government Spokesperson, Chishimba Kambwili at his office.
Mr Cohet was flanked by French head of media, film and music for the Southern African region Frederic Chambon and head of French Partner Radio Network Ms Anne Roger.
He said France was also keen to explore areas of cooperation with the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) with a view to assisting the organisation’s regulatory capacity of the broadcasting sector under the new digital dispensation.
“Digital migration will entail a high demand for content. It is, therefore, France’s desire to work with the IBA in stimulating the production of local content so that Zambia’s television channels under the digital platform are not saturated with foreign content,” Mr Cohet said.
He also hailed the excellent and long-standing relations between Zambia and France, saying the two countries continued to cooperate in many areas of development for mutual benefit.
Mr Cohet said over 20 French companies were currently operating in Zambia in various sectors and more were keen to invest in the country because of its attractive investment climate.
Mr Kambwili said the Government was excited with France’s offer of television channels such as France-24 under Zambia’s new digital television broadcasting platform.
“We have began our digital migration along the line of rail with four channels out of the potential 20. This means that we need more content to fill the remaining gap. Your offer of channels on our digital
platform, therefore, is timely,” Mr Kambwili said.
He also requested France to consider assisting Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) with television cameras to enhance the organisation’s collection and dissemination of news and other information programmes in rural areas.