By Kirubel Tadesse: Capitalethiopia
Evolving into broadcasting corporation, Ethiopia’s ruling party affiliate Radio Fana is soon to launch a TV channel and be the first non-state TV broadcaster in Ethiopia.
Radio Fana, now called Fana Broadcasting Corporate, will air its first TV programme in two years, according to Woldu Yimesil, General Manager of the company.
Woldu said the company is undertaking preparations to launch Fana’s TV and get accreditation from the regulator Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority.
Fana’s announcement came as the government details plans to introduce as many as eight new television channels under Ethiopian Television (ETV). ETV’s expansion, which should start this year will feature programs made by non-government broadcasters.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi first revealed that the government would open new channels under the state run ETV, when a famous theater actor, Debesh Temesgen, asked him at the Adama party congress in September about his plans for the media.
In the remarks Meles also indicated that were no plans to promote the establishment of private TV. However Radio Fana, this week, revealed its ambition to become the first privately run TV.
According to a commercial license permit given by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on August 2004, Fana Broadcasting Corporate had a capital of 17.1 million birr. According to the company’s manager Woldu, Fana Broadcasting Corporate has now 100 million birr in capital.
“We fully depend on our advertisers and sponsors and so far we have been successful,” the company, which claims to be the first privately run radio, says about income it generates.
“There is a misconception that Radio Fana is owned by the ruling EPRDF but the truth is that it is a share company owned by Tumsa, Tiret, Tiemt, and Wondo endowments and also a few individuals who hold small shares,” Woldu said on Wednesday night Fana’s radio broadcast. He was taking questions from listeners about his company’s latest moves.
Woldu however admitted that the root of the company is directly related with the EPRDF.
Radio Fana was first an undercover anti-Derg voice for the rebels. Woldu said after studies conducted in 1992, proprieties then owned by the EPRDF were ‘endowed’ to various regions and Radio Fana too was endowed to be owned by the endowments and ever since operated like a business.
As part of the expansion it is undertaking, Fana completed its 11 storey media complex in February last year. The facility is complete with the latest radio transmission technologies including Radio-Assist Digital Audio Software Suite, which was installed by French based company, NATIA.
The media complex, the first of its kind in the sector, was completed within 20 months by contractor Varnero at the cost of 65 million birr.
Fana Broadcasting Corporate currently possesses high-quality audibility and reaches a nation-wide audience. It broadcasts via SW, MW and FM transmissions. Currently it provides a total of 252 hours of service per week both on the national service and its FM 98.1.