Washington, DC., December 14, 2001—The
International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with Africa Media
Group Limited (AMG) to provide an equity investment of US$5 million to
develop a free-to-air television broadcasting network which operates across
the African continent.
Domiciled in Mauritius, AMG works with local broadcasting enterprises to
telecast high quality programming under the brand name, TV Africa. TV
Africa—available to anyone with access to a television—is chiefly a content
provider that acquires and produces programming which is broadcast, free-to-air,
to a potential African audience of more than 110 million viewers through
an existing network of 39 affiliates operating in 23 sub-Saharan African
While radio is still the dominant mass medium in sub-Saharan Africa, access
to cheaper television sets and liberalization in broadcasting is leading
to increased television penetration, even in the most remote rural areas.
TV Africa hopes to make an important contribution to the African
television broadcasting industry by promoting capacity building of local
content through co-production, program commissioning, acquisition of programming
rights, and support to firms involved in writing, producing, and processing
of content and creative talent.
As part of its engagement, IFC and AMG worked together to enhance developmental
benefits by ensuring the provision of educational programming, information
on HIV/AIDS, and other important health and public service notices. IFC
and AMG will also continue to maintain best practices in terms of AMG’s
programming content and in broadcasting advertising in a reasonable manner.
IFC’s Director for Information and Communication Technology investments,
Mohsen Khalil, noted, “The project will help to provide free access to
quality television programming normally available in Africa through subscription-based
media. IFC’s investment also fits in with the Corporation's overall
strategy of promoting the dissemination and use of information for development
with particular focus on underserved regions like Africa.”
Mr. Quentin Green, AMG’s Chief Operating Officer commented, “IFC’s participation
in the financing of AMG is important because of the added value that IFC
brings over and above it’s financial commitment. In this case, IFC’s
participation is assisting AMG in reaching its goal of being a socially
responsible company that makes a positive contribution to the society in
which it operates.”
IFC’s financing is part of a $22.5 million investment package that will
be used by AMG to acquire programming and programming rights, develop its
infrastructure, and cover its working capital requirements. IFC’s
investment is being made in partnership with The AIG African Infrastructure
Fund, a Mauritius-based private equity fund and ZM Africa Investment Fund,
L.P. a fund based in the U.S.
AMG plans to expand its coverage throughout the African continent. Its
main operations are located in Johannesburg, South Africa, where its programming
is packaged and transmitted to the affiliates via satellite. In order
to manage its network of affiliates and to support its continent-wide operations,
the company has regional hubs located in Abidjan, Lagos, and Nairobi.
IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing
countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC
finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes
capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged
$20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.