June 17 2017, is another deadline failed by the Sierra Leone government through the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) to come out clear and explained to the people of Sierra Leone why SLBC has not followed the ECOWAS calls for digital migration.
Since June 2014 when member states agreed that they would changed from analogue mode of transmission to digital mode of transmission, Sierra Leone among other West African countries have failed to meet the above call.
It could be recalled that member countries had met at a regional workshop to review the status of migration from analogue television to Digital Terestrial Television (DTT) in Accra, acknowledged that the financial difficulties facing them had hampered progress in the transition process. The workshop was, therefore, to discuss and exchange ideas to enable the member countries to meet a new deadline and take advantage of the digital spectrum dividend.
Many deadlines had been agreed upon by the 119 member countries of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), after the 2006 Geneva agreement to which the ECOWAS member countries are signatories.
Mysierraleoneonline.com is still puzzled, but not surprised that majority of the ECOWAS member countries have not met the deadline including our national broadcaster.
In Africa, few countries like Tanzania, Morocco, Rwanda, Mozambique have completed the process according to the ‘Status of Transition to Digital Terestrial Television Broadcasting' published online by the ITU.
Here are countries that have completed the process:
Andorra,Australia,Austria,Belgium,Bulgaria,Canada,Colombia,Croatia,Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda (Republic of), San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican.
Here are countries that are still grappling with the process:
Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Moldova, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Country that have not started at all:
Bangladesh, Belize, Central African Rep., Comoros (Union of the), Eritrea, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Turkey.
The list of countries provided above is line with the list on ITU website which member states are free to update based on their progress on the digital migration process.
Mysierraleoneonline.com therefore, find it difficult explaining why many countries which are party to the agreement and many others which are not, have made the transition, and Sierra Leone and her regional neighbours have not.
This press cannot accept the financial reason for the delay in migrating, when less endowned countries in Africa, have migrated successfully.
It is no more a secret that digital migration provides a structured development of digital terrestrial broadcasting, and is also sufficiently flexible for adaptation to the changing telecommunication environment.
I therefore, hope that these advantages would not be lost on the ECOWAS member states to take the required pragmatic steps to migrate, for the benefit of their peoples.
The benefits are many and we must not be left behind.
It is imperative to note that all Sierra Leoneans are entitled to access to information, irrespective of class, creed or location. The new technology of digital broadcasting is already enhancing access in a revolutionary manner.
To read about some of the benefits of digital broadcasting in a country click here
To know why does digital broadcast migration matter to Africa click here
To know about Sierra Leone status on ITU click here since we launched the process in 2014 with little or any progress