THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Deutsche Welle launches new multimedia debate project and TV show, The 77 percent, for Africa's youth.


The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle carried on MultiChoice's DStv (channel 446) and the Deukom pay-TV platforms in South Africa has launched a new debate platform for Africa's youth, The 77 percent, to debate politics and other current affairs issues impacting them across the continent.

The 77 percent, an online multimedia project that started on 4 December, will include a TV show also called The 77 percent on Tour, presenter by Deutsche Welle presenter Edith Kimani.

The "77 percent" in the title comes from a World Bank report noting that 77% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa are younger than 35 years old.

By 2050, around 1.8 billion young Africans will be attending school, studying and looking for jobs.

Yet, while they make up three quarters of the population of the African continent, their voices are not always heard.

"The 77 percent will serve as an established, go-to platform," says Claus Stäcker, head of Africa programming at Deutsche Welle (DW).

Over the last 13 months, DW, in cooperation with African broadcasting partners, has held townhall debates on the subject of migration in Abidjan, Accra, Bamako, Banjul, Conakry, Dakar, Jos and Niamey.

"The response from both the public and the media was enormous, as was the desire from young people for more information and dialogue. We want to continue that conversation," says Claus Stäcker.

Edith Kimani is currently reporting on the situation of young people in Ghana and her home country of Kenya.

"Until now, Africa hardly seemed to understand itself," says Edith Kimani. "But thanks to social media, more and more people are coming together."

"I realise what it means to be young, proud and African,” said Edith Kimani.

The 77 percent, funded by Germany's Foreign Office, will be presented in six different languages – Amharic, English, French, Hausa, Kiswahili and Portuguese and will debate the current political situations across Africa.

A weekly radio broadcast, 77 pourcent – nous les jeunes d’Afrique, is already being broadcast in Francophone Africa. The English version will premiere in January 2018.

"We want to listen to Africa's young majority and give the people a platform for debate," says Claus Stäcker.