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(Gabon) Expanding Media and growth in Music

Africa to the World!

Media is undoubtedly part of the daily life of Africans and even more so now in Gabon. Internet, radio and television have all played an important role and have contributed to the development of the entertainment sector in Gabon.

With a growth rate of 193,24%, mobile telecommunications is on a constant progression in Gabon. 76% of the population now have access to internet. Gabon is the first nation in the Cémac zone to offer 4G to a wider public. It is also the first country to initiate a technopole in the sub-region.

Gabon implements an avant-garde policy in the field of new information and communication technologies. The music sector is, therefore, the prime beneficiary of this development.

On the publishing level, there is no newspaper dedicated exclusively to Gabonese music. There are, however, qualitative online media platforms such as Justraprnb, Waze Music, Africagroove, Gabon Célébrité and the more recent Atanga Store.

Radio

Rightly regarded as the No. 1 radio station among young Gabonese, Urban FM is a private radio created Dafreshman. This radio station is at the heart of all major cultural and artistic events in Gabon, and is, undoubtedly, an important lever in the promotion of urban music through its programs and events.

It facilitates exchange between international and Gabonese artists such as concerts with American artists Lloyd BanksRick Ross and an anniversary concert with the French artist Zaho, showcasing local artists such as Queen Koumb, Massassi, Koba and NG Bling.

Set up in Bangui in Central African Republic, Hit Radio, a Moroccan radio station dedicated to young people. With African youths as its target, Hit Radio spokesperson declared that “it is quite an achievement that hit radio can now deploy outside borders. The idea is to offer a positive programming, promoting more widely Moroccan artists as well as local talent.”

Adapting  to the trends and musical taste of the country to reach an international dimension,  98.5 Libreville FM offers a continuous varied and eclectic youthful programming.

The access to Internet has facilitated the creation of Web Radio. The most influential of these radios remains Eben radio. Created in 2013, by Eric Benquet, CEO of Eben Entertainment. Eben Radio is based in the United States, with a relay in Johannesburg. The radio streams a wide selection of African, American, Latin,  Hip-Hop and even contemporary gospel music.

These radios, however, would not have been able to have as much impact among young people if they did not broadcast local urban music and if they had not been led by pioneering urban radio stations such as Radio emergence (school radio run by students under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education), Top FM, Black FM and Radio Télévision Nazareth. They have given way to Gabonese urban music, hip-hop in particular.

The pan-African radio Africa  is the most important francophone radio. Its programs are broadcasted throughout the world thanks to its short wave transmitters. The radio also has FM relay in major capitals in francophone Africa, in Paris (107.5 FM), and in North America. The station claims an audience of 30 million people worldwide.

Television

The pioneer generalist Gabon Television, part of the Radiodiffusion-Télévision Gabonaise, RTG channel. It was launched in May 1963, and was steered by the President Léon Mba, with the aim to equip the country with modern means of communication. Its mission is to “inform, educate and entertain”.

The first channel then became RTG 1. In 2012, RTG 1 was renamed Gabon Télévision. Broadcasted by Hertzian waves on the Gabonese territory, by satellite in West Africa and also available via ADSL in France, it allows artists to distribute their music in all the countries.

Because the impact of Gabon Télévision is national, urban music artists wishing to reach a broader audience turn to the famous music channel Trace. Trace Urban for hip-hop and RnB and Trace Africa or BBlack for pop music. Gospel artists turn to Gospel TV, LMTV or Bénie TV.

Gabon was recently host to the Africa Cup of Nations in the Gabonese capital Libreville. Top international and African musicians thrilled the nation at the opening ceremony that will be watched from the 40,000 seater Stade de l’Amitie by millions of people worldwide.