Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Bangura on Tuesday 21st June chaired a high level session on Digitalization and New Media at the ongoing China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum in Beijing, China.

Mohamed Bangura China

The session had as speakers, the Director of Information Office of Mozambique, President of China Network Television, Minister of Information and Communication of Central Africa Republic, Vice Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports of Tanzania, President of StarTimes Group-China, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services,Zambia.

Minister Bangura used the session to thank the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China for the outstanding support they gave to Sierra Leone during the Ebola fight.

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On digital TV, the Minister said, Sierra Leone is fully committed to digitalizing her public broadcaster-SLBC as there is the political will to move from analog to digital television in line with the government’s agenda for national development.

He said the country is building on the needed infrastructure in the drive towards digitalization, referring to the landing of the Fiber Optic Cable in the country.

Minister Bangura said he had been having discussions with StarTimes, a Chinese company for the digitalization of SLBC.

On forum expectations, he said he was optimistic the forum would not serve as a talk shop but one that would help bring about the needed growth in terms of digitalization in the African continent.

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The forum in Beijing provides a trustworthy decision-making basis for African Governments in a bid to develop policies and regulations that push for digitalization and post digitalization improvement and at the same time uphold exchanges and teamwork between African and Chinese media organizations.

Minister Bangura arrived in China on 16th June, 2016, for the 6th African Digital Television Development Seminar, organized by StarTimes, and the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation, held by the Government of China.

He has been joined by the Director-General of Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation, Elvis G.K. Hallowell and Mohamed M. Jalloh, Deputy Director of Communications (e-Governance Coordinator). They both arrived in Beijing on Sunday 19th June, 2016, few days after the Minister’s arrival.