24-hour pan-African news channel all set to launch

Published: Friday 15 September 2006

A plan to launch a 24-hour pan-African tv news channel is nearing completion. The channel, to be known as a-24, was proposed early this year to counter the negative coverage of Africa by Western media, who often paint the continent as backward and afflicted by poverty, disease, war and debt. It will have bureaus in all of the 53 capital cities in Africa.

"It will be very much along the lines of what Al-Jazeera is doing for the Arab world by telling their story the way they know it," said Salim Amin, one of the people behind the channel. He added that the channel would present the real Africa "as a place of good and bad, honesty and corruption, economic vibrancy and poverty, eager entrepreneurs as well as those who still rely on foreign aid".

The channel would require an initial capital of us $50 million."Many have expressed interest in making a contribution. The us $50 million seed fund is meant to run the operations of a-24 for two years during which time it is expected to have brought in revenue through advertising," Amin said.

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