AREWA24: First 24/7 Hausa language satellite television station in N. Nigeria

In 2014, EAI launched the first of its kind 24/7 Hausa language television station rooted in peacebuilding and entertainment. The channel amplified the rich culture of the North inspiring millions of viewers to tune in - catapulting it to No.1.

Nigeria, US Department of State

Project Mission — AREWA24 was launched in 2014 to fill a glaring void of locally-produced Hausa
language entertainment and lifestyle programming that reflects pride in Northern Nigerian life, culture, music, film, art, cooking and sports.

In 2013, with funding from the US Department of State EAI launched the first 24/7 Hausa speaking satellite television station in Northern Nigeria. The channel had two requirements: it needed to have peacebuilding and countering violent extremism at the program’s core, and it needed to transition to a private sector commercial entity at the end of the grant period to become fully sustainable. To achieve this ambitious goal, EAI needed to build the capacity of an all-Northern Nigerian production team to produce programs by, for and about Northern Nigerians that generated cultural pride and positivity.

“My name is Ibhahim Khalil  and I live in Katsina state [northern Nigeria]. AREWA24 changes the attitudes and morals of our youth. For instance, in the past I had no job; I did nothing. But by watching your programs, I got myself into the carpentry business which now provides me with money to spend on myself and help out my parents.

Over the course of four years, EAI built a station that for the first time amplified the rich and complex Northern Nigeria culture featuring shows that empowered women, addressed deep-rooted socio-political norms, featured emerging musicians and artists, sports, magazine talk shows, and dramas. To ensure the platform would eventually be able to be rolled off and wholly independently run, EAI employed a creative Hybrid business model that enabled the channel to seek out top-tier and local advertisers.  Alongside the production of top quality entertainment and lifestyle programming, AREWA24’S commercial operation secured advertising deals with major global brand such as Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever.

The local team also launched a robust social media platform enabling the content to be made available on YouTube and creating a platform for viewers to engage with the programming providing critical community feedback about the programming that pushed for tolerance, peace, and acceptance.

As of August 2017, the private sector company, Network AREWA24, Ltd (“NAL”), is a 100% Nigerian corporate entity, operating and growing solely from its own revenues and private equity investment funding. The donor mission and milestone of full AREWA24 commercialization, privatization, and long-term sustainability have been achieved.

We know that to make lasting change our programs need to become locally-owned. AREWA24 offers those working in media for social change and international development a case study in impact investing and a successful example of a public/private partnership with a long-term commercial appeal. Hats off to the AREWA24 team, and to the leadership of Africa Director, Graham Couturier, and CEO Jacob Arback.

"We started this channel four years ago with the goal of creating a groundbreaking international television platform that was 100 percent authentically northern Nigerian. Ronni Goldfarb, Founder

Featured Programming: Dadin Kowa

AREWA24’s primetime, award-winning original drama tells the story of Dadin Kowa, a fictional town in which the main characters reflect real life and society in Northern Nigeria. Through these storylines, audiences see themselves, their hopes and challenges, and relate characters’ struggles to their own decisions regarding career, family, finances, and conflicts. Dadin Kowa won the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award for best Hausa movie/television series.


Impact & Reach of this Project

95+ Thousand

YouTube subscribers

640 + Thousand

Facebook followers

80 Million

Household broadcast reach

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