Potential investors engage over Zim digitisation programme

Several international companies have expressed interest in working with Zimbabwe on the completion of its digitisation programme, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, has said.

She said this yesterday after meeting two representatives of a German headquartered firm, Rohde & Shwarz, which is among the top global manufacturers of transmitters.

On March 11, Zimbabwe held a media day and networking event at Expo 2020 Dubai where it implored investors to take up various investment opportunities available in the media sector.

In an interview after the meeting with the potential investors yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said many investors were making enquiries with a view to take up opportunities.

“We are here at Expo 2020 Dubai and after our media day, we generated a lot of interest in a number of investors want to discuss about transmitters,” she said.

“Rohde & Schwarz is a very well-known company in terms of transmitters and you are very much aware that in Zimbabwe, we need to complete digitalisation and at the moment, we only have 18 out of 48 sites which are fully digitalised, which means we have 30 more (transmitters) to go.

“So what is important here is for our technical people from Transmedia and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), which is a statutory instrument which issues out licences, to deepen the engagements with the investors.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa has so far issued six commercial television licences, which requires that Government moves fast to complete the digitisation program.

“So the meeting is very important and our technical people will now continue talking to investors in terms of what is required and we also look at how we can structure the financing.

“We look forward to complete the digitalisation program and I am happy that after our Media Day, we have really generated a lot of interest. Investors are now calling us and this is one of the meetings we have just concluded,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Other investments in the media sector include supplying power to transmission sites.

One of the Rohde & Schwarz representatives who met Minister Mutsvangwa, said their company has 85 years of supplying cutting edge technologies across the world.

“We want to see how we can support you in your transmitters project,” said Ms Chrabie.

Zimbabwe has indicated that it is open to getting investors who want to apply for radio and TV licences, projects that they will own 100 percent after a revision of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

Further, other investors could partner some that were granted radio licences but are yet to start operating.

BAZ legal and licensing manager Miss Joyce Kupukayi told delegates during the Media Day that 38 radio licences had been issued but only 18 were operational, while nine TV licenses were issued and only three companies have started operations.

She said other investment opportunities in the media sector pertained to the supply of receivers and set-top boxes.

Other investment opportunities in the media sector include supplying power to transmission sites.

Zimpapers (1980) Limited CEO Mr Pikirayi Deketeke encouraged delegates that attended the Media Day to invest in Zimbabwe since the media sector was profitable as evidenced by his organisation’s payment of dividends at least twice a year.

The company is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

More importantly, Mr Deketeke said Zimpapers had continued to grow, from one newspaper in 1890 to 12 now, and radio and television stations.

The company’s television station, Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN), is expected to be available on satellite and digital terrestrial television in the next few weeks. Herald.

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