(AFP) – Dec 9, 2007
LAGOS (AFP) — The public Radio France Internationale has launched in Nigeria this weekend a news service in Hausa, the official language of northern Nigeria that is widely spoken in other parts of West Africa.
Financed by RFI and with collaboration from the international Voice of Nigeria, the Hausa programs will be broadcast two hours daily -- the same amount of time as British rival, BBC, broadcasts in the same language.
"It's the first time in the history of the international French radio that the editorial staff is completely relocated overseas," said Jean Claude Kuentz, RFI's deputy general development director, speaking of the launch which took place Saturday.
Five journalists and three technicians will make up the radio's Hausa team, which Kuentz said has triggered interest by Tanzania's radio and television broadcasting service for a similar collaboration in Swahili.
The Hausa service will allow the station to offer "the diversity of French opinions and not just the official position of France" worldwide, France's ambassador to Nigeria Yves Gaudeul said.
English is Nigeria's official language.
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