Rwanda gets Chinese grant to set up film and TV production facility


Rwandan broadcasting and creative industries will soon have access to modern production facilities in the country, thanks to a $7 million (about Rwf6bn) Chinese grant.

“The dabbing and production house will facilitate both private and public television houses in the country to produce quality content that meets international standards,’ said Arthur Asiimwe, the Director General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA).

The RBA chief said negotiations for the project had been concluded and the facility would be completed by the end of the year.

Funded by the Chinese government through StarTimes Group, the project is part of efforts geared at strengthening digital broadcasting and production infrastructure in the country, he added.

Asiimwe was speaking to a local Rwandan newspaper, on the sidelines of the 7th African Digital TV Development seminar in Beijing that was organised by StarTimes Group.

The four-day seminar that ended on Thursday attracted over 400 delegates from 46 African and Asian countries, including 30 Africa ministers of information and communication. Asiimwe and Ladislas Ngendahimana, the Ministry of Local Government spokesperson, represented Rwanda at the event.

Asiimwe said the project is part of Rwanda-China cooperation to support digitalisation of broadcasting industry, as well as boosting film production and content development in the country. He added that local film-makers will be able to dab Kinyarwanda films and export them to markets like China, Nigeria and in the region.

While opening the event, Pang Xinxing, the president of StarTimes Group, said the African Digital TV Development seminar was a platform geared at deepening co-operation and dialogue for the development of the broadcasting industry in Africa. He underscored that StarTimes is about to complete the 10,000 Villages Satellite TV Project initiated by Chinese and African governments. The project is part of Sino-Africa co-operation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa in the 2015.

Tong Gang, the deputy minister for China State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said the co-operation between Chinese and African media is in accordance with the One Belt and One Road initiative.

“China is willing to deepen co-operation in the field of media development and promotion of the digital migration in Africa.’

Meanwhile, the RBA chief has said people in many parts of the country have no access to information due to the high cost of TV sets. He revealed that Rwanda is working with firms in China to provide affordable TV sets for poor households. Only 20 per cent of Rwandan households have TV sets.

Source: The New Times


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