MAPUTO– A Chinese-funded project to receive television broadcasts by satellite in 500 Mozambican villages will generate 550 jobs, according to the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita.

He was speaking in Marracuene district, about 30 kilometres north here, during Saturday’s ceremony to launch the project, which is budgeted at 3.8 million US dollars. It will be implemented by the Chinese company Startimes, in partnership with the Mozambican firm, Transporte, MultiplexacAPound o e TransmissAPound o (TMT).

According to Mesquita, the project will connect the Mozambican villages to the world, and will guarantee the right to information to their residents. It is our vision that an informed community is an important step towards the full exercise of citizenship,” declared the Minister.

The villages covered by the project, he said, were selected on the basis of criteria such as size (they must have at least 150 resident households) and the availability of electricity. Mesquita added that priority was given to border areas, particularly those that do not receive any terrestrial television signal.

Chinese Ambassador to Mozambique Su Jian said: With this project, Sino-Mozambican relations have entered a new epoch, characterised by rapid development in all areas.”

Witnessing the ceremony was the chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Chinese parliament, the National People’s Assembly, Li Zhanshu, who is on an official visit to Mozambique aimed at strengthening the ties between the parliaments of the two countries.

This follows the visit that the chairperson of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Veronica Macamo, made to China in early 2017.

Also on Saturday, Li visited the Mozambique-China Centre for Agricultural Research and Transfer of Technology, in Boane District.

In Boane, Ambassador Su told reporters that China had provided about 10 million US dollars to support this year’s agricultural campaign in Mozambique. He stressed that agriculture and food security are priority sectors for Chinese investment.