All is almost set for Ghana to switch over successfully to the world digital platform by next year as required by the Geneva 2006 agreement which mandates all countries the world over to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2018.
Consequently 53 transmission sites have been built across the country to facilitate the take-off in order to meet the deadline next year. The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. George Sarpong, made this known at the opening of a two-day workshop for members of three Regional Media Advisory Committees (RMACs) from the Southern sector on Friday to educate them on digital migration to enable them understand the issues before it took-off. They are the Central, Volta and Eastern Regional Committees. The RMACs which were inaugurated in six regions in the round-up to the 2016 general elections were to among others to assist the NMC to deal with matters in relation to media and peace building and also settle complaints by or against media in the regions. The NMC had already updated its staff whilst the Northern, Upper East and Ashanti have also received training. He explained that the migration was a global exercise that all countries must adhere to and urged members of the Regional Committees to be abreast with the issues involved. He said Ghana was currently leading in the preparation towards the migration process, adding that Africa in general was struggling to migrate but hinted that it would be regrettable for any country to be left behind digitally because after the deadline, transmission by analogue could be chaotic. This was because there would not be guaranteed protection from transmission interferences by neighbouring countries. On the training, he stated that NMC as a regulator would have to play its gate-keeping role and therefore needed to enlighten its members on the subject to enable them to have better understanding and appreciate the issues relating to it. For his part, Nana Kwasi Gyan Appenteng, Chairman of the NMC, pointed out that as media regulators, members needed to understand the issues for them to debate and make sound input into the Digital Migration policy. It will also enable members to make informed decisions and give concrete advice as they arise in their respective regions when the country finally switched on digitally next year. Nana Appenteng indicated that apart from the technical nature of the migration, the impending change was also fundamental and therefore, how content by the various media houses would be delivered, regulated and managed was very important. Digital Migration is the process where television stations operating on analogue networks would be transferred to digital based transmission networks until the analogue transmitters are eventually switched off.