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The Africa Channel
News out of Africa is often so sparse and distant, that it sometimes seems as if it is a different world, or that it doesn't exist at all. Simply the fact that we know the place as "Africa", as opposed to identifying any particular country within the continent when we discuss issues there, is a sign of our disregard and ignorance of the place. Africa is way "out there", utterly foreign and therefore hardly worthy of our attentions…or so goes the popular feeling, it sometimes seems.
Well, that may change (or it may not). Several seasoned TV executives are launching the Africa Channel, to be on your cable service soon. The effort is being spear-headed by James Makawa, a native of Zimbabwe, Jacob Arback, a former vice president of DirecTV International, and Richard Hammer, a former executive with Columbia Pictures Television. The hope is that by bringing everyday stories about what goes on in Africa, people will become much better informed about the vast continent and its people. The channel will feature original newsmagazine, reality TV, travel and soap opera segments produced largely in Johannesburg. The effort is noble and sure. The question of whether people will watch…is not.