Euronews to launch an African sister channel


Through a cooperation deal signed with the Republic of the Congo’s national
broadcaster, Tele Congo, Euronews is set to launch Africanews, which is being
promoted as “the first pan-African, multilingual news channel, broadcasting
around the clock’.

Founded in 1993, Euronews is best known for its strong pan-European content
and viewpoint and its multilingual broadcasting. The channel broadcasts in up to
14 languages, depending on the territory in which it is received. Here in South
Africa (DStv Channel 414), the channel offers four optional audio tracks – in
French, German, Spanish and English respectively. It also has a very particular
editorial and news delivery style, consisting only of voice-overs spoken over live
news footage, with no studios or anchors speaking to camera. The major
criticism that Euronews has faced in the past is a perceived pro-European
Commission bias – the European Union is, in fact, one of the channel’s major

Tele Congo is quite possibly the oldest television broadcaster in sub-Saharan
Africa, having begun broadcasting in 1962. It is also heavily underfunded and
struggling to compete with privately owned broadcasters across the continent,
and with its biggest rivals across the Congo river in Kinshasa, the capital of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The new channel, to be broadcast across Africa, will follow the same formula as
Euronews; it will present a distinctly pan-African viewpoint, follow a similar
editorial approach and offer multiple language options. It will start broadcasting
in English and French. Other major languages on the continent, such as Arabic
and Swahili, will then be added later.

The channel will be based in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo,
with regional offices being opened across the continent. In its press release
published just after the deal between Euronews and Tele Congo was signed,
Euronews stated that the new channel will not be “a mere African window made
by Euronews, as most international news channels do, but rather a fully-fledged
pan-African network, with editorial choices made by Africans for an African

Africanews is to be funded primarily by advertising, with the doors remaining
open for various private and public partners, particularly as the channel expands
into surrounding countries by setting up regional offices and adding new

With none of the major players in the deal available for comment at the time of
going to print, many details about the channel, its offerings and the deal that
gave rise to it have yet to be made public. It is not known why the Republic of
Congo has been chosen for the channel’s base – a somewhat unexpected
development when the continent’s broadcast industries are dominated by
countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. It is not clear how the deal
came about, only that it arose under the auspices of Congolese president, Denis
Sassou Nguesso. The launch of the channel is scheduled for mid-2015.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here