Radio France International 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 programmes will be broadcast two hours daily - the same amount of time as 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 on Saturday.
Five journalists and three technicians 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.
Broadcasts in Hausa launched on 21 May 2007. According to the RFI website, broadcasts in Hausa are available on shortwave as follows:
- 0600-0630 UTC on 6170, 9805 and 11995 kHz
- 0700-0730 UTC on 9805, 11830 and 15315 kHz
- 1600-1700 UTC on 11700 and 15315 kHz