8 January 2001

Malawi: South African Investor Buys Stake in Malawi Radio

Blantyre, Malawi — One of South Africa's leading investors, United Alliance Media or UAM, has bought an equity in one of Malawi's two commercial radio stations, Capital FM.

Capital Radio Malawi Limited chairman Alaudin Osman said UAM's involvement in his radio is a big boost to commercial broadcasting in his country.

"It's a very good and positive development because in Malawi it is very difficult for a business like ours to expand due to high bank lending rates," he added.

Osman, who is also a presidential spokesman, started Capital FM as a family business. He said UAM investment in the station will result in improvement in technical performance of the fledgling radio station and the establishment of another commercial radio station, Youth FM, which is already established in South Africa as Y FM, under UAM.

He said that the new commercial station would target the youth while Capital FM will continue targeting the adult audience.

Capital FM, which started broadcasting in March 1998, is currently negotiating with the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority to be allowed to broadcast nationally.

It currently only covers the urban centres of Blantyre and Lilongwe an their immediate environs.

UAM chief executive Anthony Glass said in a statement UAM investment in Capital FM was part of UAM's expansion programme in radio and television broadcasts in Africa.

UAM hold stakes in Y FM in South Africa and Yorona FM in Botswana. It has also secured further stakes in radio stations in Tanzania and Uganda.

Osman refused to disclose financial implications of the UAM investment. He nonetheless said the investment will involve technological transfer.

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