Ghana DTT row escalates

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Rarely does a parliamentary discussion over TV distribution result in near-blows being exchanged between members of parliament.

But that happened on September 27th in Ghana as the Chairman of the country’s Communications Committee of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, and Sam George, a member of the committee, nearly exchanged blows during a “highly charged meeting” to discuss the controversial DTT project and the role of China’s StarTimes Group.

The meeting had been called as a result of a formal petition submitted by Ghana’s Independent Broadcasters Association, in an attempt to solve the impasse between the Association and government.

Kennedy Agyapong was reportedly said to have been infuriated by comments made by a rival party’s member at a preliminary meeting earlier last week. One report said that some members of parliamentary committee had allegedly been accused of “hypocrisy”.

This provoked Agyapong to criticise those who had breached parliamentary protocol and had spoken in public about confidential matters discussed behind closed doors.

The impasse, however, remains. The government has postponed the migration from analogue to digital three times. It had contracted with StarTime Group but that commitment was scrubbed in 2014 and a local company (K-Net) charged with installing DTT transmitters across the nation.


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