In an update on Zimbabwe’s digital migration (digitisation) project the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has mentioned that because of funding challenges, it missed the project’s March 2016 deadline.
According to the Herald, Obert Muganyura, the CEO of BAZ, shared this information with the Secretary in the Office of the President, Dr. Misheck Sibanda, and a delegation of BAZ and ZBC management that toured some of the stations identified for the project.
The digitisation project is now expected to be completed by mid-2017 and progress is anticipated if an injection of $27.2 million is made urgently.
This will be used for importing $10 million worth of equipment, satellite lease costs, tower replacements, securing of the 400,000 set top boxes and the digitisation of 15 sites.
After meeting a June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the preliminary work on the project, the Broadcasting Authority fo Zimbabwe set a March 2016 deadline for the outstanding work.
However the funds required aren’t being released and according to Muganyura $19 million is owed to the contractor (Huawei was signed on to handle the project) with engineers working on the project lying idle and the shipments of equipment having been stopped.
In an update at the beginning of this year, BAZ mentioned that the project was 34% complete with the same challenges related to the release of funds highlighted as causes for the delays.