Zimbabwe's public broadcaster faces digital makeover


Rebecca Hawkes

| 01 September 2015

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is to be restructured and made competitive, the country's president Robert Mugabe has announced.

The news comes after Zimbabwe's public broadcaster shed 500 staff in August.

During his state of the nation address, Mugabe said the government has also committed US$125 million for the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.

"Although the migration process applies to television broadcasting only, Zimbabwe's radio broadcast infrastructure is also being revamped through the same project," he added.

Plans to digitise ZBC broadcasting studios in Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo have been agreed and are now awaiting government funding, according to IT Web Africa.

A lack of fibre optic connectivity between transmitter sites in Zimbabwe have reportedly hampered the country's efforts to switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT). To temporarily deal with the issue a satellite uplink terminal was recently installed at ZBC's Harare broadcasting centre.

The southern African country has 48 broadcast transmitter sites, but so far only eight are linked with broadband Internet.

Having missed this year's ITU deadline for DTT migration, Zimbabwe is now aiming to complete its digitisation process by June 2016.