Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Al-Qadhafi reportedly buys Gabon's Africa No. One

Text of report by Ivorian newspaper L’Inter on 21 March
In 2005, we wrote in these same columns that the management of radio station Africa No.1 was financially strapped, and it was therefore difficult to meet the charges due for the Panafrican medium. At the time, the Gabonese minister of communication made an announcement to the press reporting the hard times, which could possibly lead to the closing down of Africa No.1. With things having reached this point, the radio station officials had allowed back licensing fees owed to the National Audiovisual Communication Council (CNCA) in Abidjan to build up. As a result, the broadcasting of Africa No.1 FM programmes was suspended in the Ivorian economic capital.
Nevertheless, good fortune seems to have smiled at the station’s employees, and the African network will take off again very soon. Actually, it was bought by a big financier in the person of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi. Information making its way around high-ranking circles recently indicates that the Libyan Guide is the new owner of Africa No.1. The amount of the deal pulled off by the president of Libya and his counterpart El Hajj Omar Bongo of Gabon: 5 million euros (about 3.2 billion CFA francs). Africa No.1 will no longer be under the control of the Gabonese Government, but of the Libyan Republic. Given this new start, no one doubts that the arrears owed to the CNCA will be paid, to the delight of listeners in Cote d’Ivoire.
(Source: L’Inter, Abidjan, in French 21 Mar 07 p 14 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)