Chinese pay-television operator StarTimes has launched the 2017 Beijing TV dramas and movies broadcasting season in Africa in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
The Beijing TV dramas and movies broadcasting season in Africa, the fourth time it is being launched on the continent and first time in Zambia, will see eight hit television dramas and movies being broadcast to the Zambian audience.
StarTimes, with branches in 35 African nations and with almost 10 million subscribers, has partnered with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Radio, Film and Television to broadcast the series.
Guo Ziqi, StarTimes Vice-President said during the launch on Monday that the broadcasting of the series will contribute to the strengthened friendship between Zambia and China.
"To assist the broadcasting season, we held the "Carnival of Films and TV drama" in 12 main villages around four major cities, Lusaka, Ndola, Kabwe and Kitwe and 24 movies were screened which received a lot of appreciation," she said.
The television firm, she said, was the fastest growing digital television operator in Africa since its launch in 2002.
Wang Yefei, Deputy Director-General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said the municipality attaches great importance to the cultural exchanges between China and Africa and hoped that the series will help the African audience to get a panorama of China.
According to him, the African audience will also enjoy 17 movies and 400 drama episodes during the course of the year in seven languages, among them, English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba and Luganda.
Yang Youming, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, said Chinese TV dramas and movies have become an important new cultural bridge in building relations between the two countries.
"It is my belief that this event will further promote mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples, and open a new window for the cultural and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, he said.
The Chinese envoy further hoped that more Chinese TV dramas and movies will be broadcasted on Zambian channels to enrich the cultural life of citizens.
According to him, the people-to-people exchange had become an important aspect of cooperation and has resulted in increased exchanges in cultural, educational and sports areas.
So far about 3,500 Zambian students are studying in China while the Chinese government has provided training opportunities to over 1,500 Zambians from government departments, the academic, business, media and other fields in the last three years, he said.
The growing interest by local people to learn the Chinese language and culture has seen more than 8,000 students learning the language at the Confucius Institute, he added.
Kampamba Mulenga, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services appreciated the long standing friendship between the two countries over the years and that cultural programs were meant to bring people of the two countries together.
She said the launch of the broadcasting season over the past three years in countries such as Tanzania has resulted in those countries benefiting from China's film industry through skills training and hope the same will be replicated in Zambia.