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New DW bureau in Lagos

Sam Olukoya in Lagos and Mark Caldwell
October 23, 2014

Deutsche Welle is expanding its operations in Africa as it realigns itself in an increasingly tough global media market. The German international broadcaster opened a new bureau in Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday.

Opening of DW bureau in Lagos Nigeria
Image: DW

Deutsche Welle has dispatched two correspondents, Jan Philipp Scholz and Adrian Kriesch, to Lagos, to work from and run the bureau, strengthening the station's coverage of West Africa.

Nigeria was chosen as the location because of its importance as Africa's most populous nation and largest economy. It also symbolizes the aspirations and challenges of the African renaissance - from economic growth and the promise of prosperity to the fear of instability nurtured by chronic insurgency and conflict.

Opening of DW bureau in Lagos Nigeria. Gerhda Meuer and Thomas Mösch
Gerda Meuer, director of programs, and Thomas Mösch, head of DW's Hausa service at the launch of the new bureauImage: DW/S. Olukoya

Gerda Meuer, Deutsche Welle's director of programs, said the station was the first German public service broadcaster to open a bureau in Lagos. "Nobody is here in Nigeria," she said in a reference to German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, whose bureaus on the African continent are to be found in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa. Meuer was speaking at a special launch ceremony in Lagos.

'Fine tune' partnership with DW

As well as news gathering and reporting from the field, Scholz and Kriesch will be collaborating with a network of 18 correspondents working in English, Hausa and French to editors shaping Deutsche Welle's tri-medial output - online, radio and television - for a global audience.

The German public broadcaster already has a firm following in Nigeria. 20 Nigerian FM stations relay radio output from Deutsche Welle's Hausa and English for Africa services. Gbolahan Awonuga from Royal FM 95.1 in Ilorin said the new bureau would help them "fine tune" their partnership with Deutsche Welle.

Jan Philipp Scholz and Adrian Kriesch
Jan Philipp Scholz (left) and Adrian Kriesch (right) will be helping to reconfigure DW's coverage of AfricaImage: DW/M.Müller

Deutsche Welle is also active in other media in Nigeria. Eight Nigerian television stations already relay the German media outlet's TV programs. On social media, DW Hausa's service boasts a large and lively Facebook community.

As well as broadcasting in English, Hausa and French, Deutsche Welle also transmits programs to African listeners in Amharic, Kiswahili, and Portuguese. It also maintains online platforms in these languages.

Founded in 1953, Deutsche Welle is funded mostly by German government grants. A newly-appointed director general, Peter Limbourg, recently pledged to propel the station into the group of the top three international broadcasters.

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