Radio Broadcasting

China Radio International Resumes Broadcasts In Africa

China Radio International resumed its shortwave broadcasts from a relay site in Mali, in March this year. The facility had been inactive for over a year.

The site comprises of two 100 kW transmitters from the Beijing-based BBEF Electronics Group, Ltd. They are now operating for more than 20 frequency-hours a day broadcasting to the African continent in various languages, including English. The reactivation of the facility is in vast contrast to the shutting down of other sites in Africa, such as the Sentech Meyerton facility in South Africa.

The reactivation has benefited Mali’s shortwave transmissions. Following years of poor modulation and weak signals, the service now boasts a much stronger signal.
Radio Mali is now on air for more than twelve hours a day and includes a weekly English transmission.

The collaboration between China and Mali goes back close to 50 years. In 1970, they rolled out what became known as the “Bamako 1” site. The facility had four shortwave transmitters, two for Radio Mali and two for CRI.

Since then, the nations continued to sign protocol radio transmission agreements. A more recent one was effective from 2007 to 2017.

China leased two transmitters for over US$15 million for broadcasting CRI and had, in turn, agreed to deploy a 50 kW shortwave transmitter for Radio Mali and also provide spare parts and engineering support for the site.

The reactivation of the Mali site aims to boost CRI’s shortwave coverage in Africa and also shows China’s ongoing commitment to shortwave in the continent.

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