Tens of millions of people have benefited from Africa's 10,000-village project

Seetao 2023-02-06 09:14
  • Wancuntong, a China-Africa cooperation project, aims to enable 10,000 villages in African countries to receive satellite digital TV
  • As of December 2022, the project will cover 9,512 villages in Africa, benefiting tens of millions of African people
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18 Minutes

After years of unremitting efforts, the Wancuntong project, a China-Africa cooperation project, is approaching the goal of opening a window for tens of millions of African people to learn about the outside world. As of December 2022, the Wancuntong project has successfully completed the construction work in 21 African countries, covering 9,512 villages in Africa, directly benefiting more than 190,000 households, and covering nearly 10 million people. Since the implementation of the project, there have been stories of China-Africa people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and countless touching and heart-warming stories have emerged one after another.

Watch the World Cup for free

In December 2015, in order to promote the construction of China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, the Chinese government proposed to implement ten major cooperation plans with the African side. Among them, the humanities cooperation plan proposed to implement satellite TV viewing projects for 10,000 villages in Africa. From January 9 to February 6, 2022, the Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Cameroon. In the village of Diruna in Cameroon, watching the game has become the most anticipated moment for Ndongo, who loves football, after his daily work.

It was not easy to watch the game before. Ndongo said that because there is no TV at home, he used to go to a bar in the town one kilometer away to watch whenever there was a major game. With the implementation of the Wancuntong project in Africa, the situation has changed. The Diruna village where Ndongo lives also has a TV set and supporting facilities.

When the Cameroon team beat their opponents 4-1 to advance to the second round, Ndongo and several villagers jumped up excitedly and hugged each other. The performance of the Cameroon team tonight is so good, I am so happy, what is even more happy is that the projection TV signal is good, the picture quality is high, and the viewing experience is not compromised. Ndongo said.

During the World Cup in Qatar, many Kenyan fans also watched the game through the live broadcast satellite network of a Chinese company. Villagers in remote areas watched the clear game for the first time through the satellite digital TV signal connected to the Wancuntong project. During the knockout stage of the World Cup, Timase, a Kenyan youth watching the game at his home in Nairobi, and his golf friends witnessed a historic breakthrough in African football: the Moroccan team defeated the Portuguese team and became the first African team in history to advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Really excited, I believe the whole of Africa is cheering for them! He pointed to the set-top box under the TV. Thanks to the Chinese company StarTimes, we can watch the World Cup for free!

The Wancuntong project brings not only entertainment and relaxation, but also an important window for people in remote areas of Africa to see the world. The implementation of the Burundi Wancuntong project, Jean Mari, a salesman of StarTimes Burundi Media Company, participated in the project installation task for the second batch of villages in the country. He still remembers that when the equipment was installed and put into use, the moment the program was turned on on the screen, the most attractive thing was the joy on the faces of all the villagers. After the installation task was over, the installation team could still receive calls from the aided families, saying that they had seen Burundi National TV on TV, and also paid attention to some information related to health, agriculture, animal husbandry and Chinese culture.

The most impressive one is Mr. HATUNGIMANA. He is an activist. After watching a modern pig farming program on Wancuntong satellite TV, he immediately learned to build the same hut and raised several piglets.

Villagers and satellite TV receivers taken in a village in Mutimbuzi, Bujumbura Rural Province, Burundi on October 31, 2022

Jean Marie said that through satellite TV, everyone can understand what is happening in the world every day. Seeing the changes in the lives of many people, I sincerely hope that the cooperation between Burundi and China will get better and better. Emir, another local employee of StarTimes in Africa, also said that the lack of information has always been an important obstacle that restricts Burundian people from seeing the world with their eyes open. When we have 'eyes', the people will have the tools to understand the world and change their homes, and learn about more advanced development technologies and development models.

It may be hard to imagine that the Wancuntong project has brought many African children to electric shocks and the Internet for the first time. Through the small TV screens, the weak body with ignorant eyes gradually grows into the future power of building the country.

On November 22, 2021, at Sindia Primary School in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal, students sat on the carpet in the classroom during recess and watched a projected cartoon

In the No. 1 Primary School in Maracuane Village, Mozambique, the teachers and students in the school wrote the following lyrics to express their gratitude. Thank you, dear China, for bringing us digital TV and allowing us to understand the outside world , I feel like I'm going to turn into a white dove and go out to soar. After the Wancuntong equipment was installed in the school in Umbi Village, Zambia, many children who had dropped out of school for a long time returned to school. The principal Wam Andila thanked China and Wancuntong very much.

At St. Luke Nkumbah's primary school near the Wagagai Village Clinic in Uganda, on the shores of Lake Victoria in Africa, striking orange circular TV satellite dishes are mounted on the classroom roofs. Vice-principal Rebecca Namusisi emphasized that considering the current situation of local electricity shortage, the Wancuntong project also specially installed solar projectors and supporting facilities for the school. Teachers and students can now watch educational TV programs and information, which makes Teaching just got easier. It simplifies the work of the teacher, and the students can understand more clearly what the teacher is teaching. Namusisi said that with the projector as a teaching aid, teachers no longer need to spend a long time drawing images on the blackboard. We benefited a lot, not only made money, improved our lives, but also learned new skills

Wancuntong not only allows villagers to "connect" to the world, but the implementation of the project also cultivates local radio and television program talents, enabling them to master satellite TV business knowledge, installation and after-sales service skills, which not only provides manpower guarantee for the follow-up operation of the project, but also provides support for Africa. The area provides employment opportunities and promotes the development of related industries.

On January 12, 2022, in the village of Ngoa, Cameroon, Laurent Balla, a technician from StarTimes, overhauled the TV power supply

Bubanza Province in Burundi is the key construction area for the second batch of villages in the Wancuntong Project. Here, many local villagers have found suitable and stable jobs because of the Wancuntong project. Edmund was one of them. Edmund was born in a rural area, and his family was in financial difficulties. Although he had a certain knowledge of TV installation and maintenance, he was unable to find a suitable job. When Amir, a local employee of StarTimes, went to the countryside one time, he accidentally discovered that this young man was not only capable of working, but also very dedicated. Therefore, he was hired as a local technician of the company.

This stable job meant that Edmund no longer had to travel around looking for work. Laurent Barra, who is in his thirties, has been working in StarTimes for five years. After professional training, he often travels to local villages to provide technical support for project operations. Now he has grown into a regional manager. We young people in Cameroon have benefited a lot. Not only have we made money, improved our lives, but also learned new skills. Editor/He Yuting