The switchover to digital terrestrial television (DTT) in sub-Saharan Africa should be completed within just over two years, by 17 June 2015 at the latest, according to joint recommendations by the UIT (International Telecommunications Union) and the UAT (African Telecommunications Union).
CFI has offered technical support to the countries concerned and has already conducted several operations to assist with planning the switchover to DTT, as well as running technical training courses in digital broadcasting.
What has emerged from this contact with authorities and African professionals is the need for a document summarising the key issues posed by digital transition and offering solutions based on French and African experiences: a practical guide to the digital switchover in sub-Saharan Africa (downloadable below).
The aim is to provide African states with the means to determine the policies that will enable them to retain their independence in controlling their own national audiovisual landscapes.
Coordinated by CFI and with the support of African experts, this guide to good practices was written by an inter-departmental working group along with the operators concerned (the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR), the international technical assistance agency for the French ministries of Economy and Finance (ADETEF), the French Audiovisual Council (CSA), France Digital TV (FTN), and the national audiovisual institute (INA,) etc.).
CFI is capitalising on France's successful digital switchover programme in order to raise awareness among African decision-makers at bilateral meetings and international conferences.
CFI has used high level policy consultancy missions to draw the attention of African governments to digital migration issues as well as to the income that can be generated by freeing up the spectrum: the so-called digital dividend.
"I wrote this guide with input from some of Africa's leading experts, including Malick Ndiaye from Senegal and Jean Martial Adou from Ivory Coast. These discussions have enabled us to combine the best success stories from France and Africa whilst simultaneously promoting the South/South exchange of skills that CFI has been keen to achieve."
Eve-Lise Blanc Deleuze, CFI expert and former assistant director of France Digital TV, responsible for marketing, communication and general affairs.