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Rwanda Leapfrogs into Digital Broadcasting Migration: Challenges and Opportunities

Rwanda Leapfrogs into Digital Broadcasting Migration: Challenges and Opportunities
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Author(s): Cedric Pierre-Louis (TELE10 Group, Rwanda)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 21
Source title: Impacts of the Knowledge Society on Economic and Social Growth in Africa
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lloyd G. Adu Amoah (Ashesi University, Ghana & Strategy3, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5844-8.ch013


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This chapter interrogates the migration process from Analog to Digital Terrestrial Television occurring in Rwanda, which has, since May 2013, entered its final stages. Following the commitment of the East African Community (EAC) inspired by the 2006 recommendations of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Rwanda switched to digital terrestrial broadcasting in December 2013. In the meantime, the government sought to increase television penetration from 7% in December 2012 to 30% when the switch off process came to its end. This chapter focuses on the challenges and constraints of this transition in a country where 80% of the population belongs to the primary sector, and where only 10.6% of Rwandans have access to electricity as a main source of lighting. Based on the author's experience as the Project Leader and Managing Director of TV10, the first private television channel in Rwanda, this chapter discusses and analyzes salient aspects of this migration, which is part of a very ambitious technological catch-up policy. It also highlights the different initiatives put together by the private and the public sector to develop innovative solutions that could mobilize the population and improve their access to television. These initiatives sometimes seem to focus on technical considerations to the detriment of local content development, an undeniable and crucial source of employment in the creative industries. Finally, this chapter points out the opportunities and significant growth potential that digital broadcasting could bring to all the stakeholders involved.

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