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CNBC Africa launches in SA
« on: January 06, 2007, 01:16:25 pm »
CNBC Africa launches in SA
3 January 2007

Sub-Saharan Africa's first international business news channel, CNBC Africa, will begin broadcasting from its new Johannesburg headquarters in May.

According to Engineering News, CNBC will be investing US$20-million in setting up its new operation in South Africa. The channel's entire workforce will be recruited locally, creating around 130 jobs for South Africans.

CNBC's African entry is being backed by South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which will own 30% of CNBC Africa. A listing on the JSE is also planned for the future, Engineering News reports.

Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg in November, CNBC Africa chairman Zafar Siddiqi described the launch as "a milestone in African television broadcasting".

"CNBC Africa will bring African business closer to the decision-makers of other parts of the world," Siddiqi said.

"By focusing on the financial, business and economic news of the region, we aim to provide a platform to an ongoing inter-African discussion on globalisation, employment, career, business and investment opportunities, living standards, infrastructure development and other relevant issues."

According to, CNBC Africa will broadcast hourly African news business bulletins coupled with a current affairs programme in the mornings, crossing to CNBC Europe between 1pm and 3pm.

Evening viewers will be given something "appealing, lighter and exciting" related to education and entertainment. Later at night, the channel will cross live to New York, Tokyo and Singapore before returning to Africa in the early hours of the morning. reports that, in its first phase, CNBC Africa will open news bureaux in Cape Town, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, and also have its own correspondents in London and New York.

Also speaking at the launch in November, Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa said that CNBC was following in the steps of "a host of other multi-national corporations" who had chosen the province as a home for their corporate headquarters.

"The political stability we have experienced in the province since 1994 counts among the reasons why big companies are choosing to relocate their continental head offices here," Shilowa said.

Gauteng, he said, was also a crucial air transportation hub in the southern African region, and a "major determinant and contributor of economic and social development in the continent.

"It is classified as Africa's fourth largest economy - after South Africa, Egypt and Algeria - and as the economic hub of the sub-continent."

CNBC is owned by NBC Universal, which, according to, is 80% owned by US technology and financial services giant General Electric Company. reporter