Euronews to launch pan-African channel
January 27, 2014 09.35 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
AfricanewsEuronews is to launch what will be the first pan-African rolling news channel, in partnership with Télé Congo, the national TV channel of the Republic of Congo.
Known as Africanews, it will make its debut in summer 2015 and be initially a bilingual service, operating in French and English.
However, it will in due course add other major languages of the continent, including Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili.
Africanews will be based in Brazzaville, with regional offices across the continent.
News of the channel was made public with the signing of an agreement by Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews, and Jean Obami, MD of Télé Congo, on January 25.
The partnership between the two parties was formalised under the auspices of Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president of the Republic of Congo.
Commenting on the agreement, Peters said: “Twenty years after the launch of Euronews, we are breaking new ground in the world of news. Since 1993, Euronews has covered global news from a European perspective, speaking to viewers in their language. The company’s multinational shareholder base gives the channel the independence and the means to inform viewers without promoting any particular viewpoint. Its global success in terms of viewer numbers is proof of the channel’s professionalism and its ability to integrate diversity.
“Euronews has the experience, the reputation and the resources necessary to convey this model which respects the values and value of different cultures. It is precisely this model of tolerance in a world of diversity that we hope to share with Africa, via Africanews, the first independent and multilingual news channel on the continent.
“Africanews is different from existing channels because it aims to give Africa its rightful place in the world of news and to give the world the latest news from the continent which is itself a news market, in the same way and at the same level as other regions of the world.
“Our strategic and highly ambitious project will not be a mere African “window” made by Euronews, as most international news channels do, but rather a full-fledged Pan-African network, with editorial choices made by Africans for an African audience.
“To develop this project, we were lucky to have the help of Stephen Smith, a recognized specialist on Africa (see below: Stephen Smith and Africanews). Stephen, former Africa Editor for two French daily newspapers Libération then Le Monde, is providing advice and recommendations for the editorial and strategic aspects of Africanews.
“The public television channel Télé Congo decided to join us in this adventure. Our teams will now begin the preliminary studies and organisational work to be ready to launch Africanews in 2015.
“We take great pride in announcing this emblematic cooperation project and we are eager to launch this new player on the world media scene.”
The content of Africanews will benefit from the extensive know-how of Euronews, making it as widely and easily accessible as possible for all types of users.
Starting with linear formats, offering TV broadcasts 24/7, live streaming of the channel on the internet, and then with live mobile applications and perhaps digital radio programmes.
The non-linear formats will start right away, with the website www.africanews.com and then gradually move into specific mobile applications, following the latest trends in media consumption on the continent.
For example, Euronews, at the cutting edge of mobile applications, has been selected by Nokia to be included in its new operating system, S40, soon to be released in Africa, one of the most dynamic markets for mobile phones.
Africanews will be accessible to a large number of people on the continent thanks to rebroadcasts by local partners and operators, with the support and expertise of Euronews’ international teams.
Africanews will be based on a model financed by advertising. It will then be able to develop by adding new public and private partners, in particular for the set-up of its regional offices around Africa and for adding new languages.