Annex 4

Canal Futura Africano
A 24-Hour-a-Day Portuguese Language Educational Television Service for Africa

Prepared by Peter T. Knight, Ph.D., Partner, Knight-Moore Telematics for Education and Development


This project will provide a 24-hour-a-day Portuguese language educational television service covering Africa, but specially designed for Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé e Principe. These five African countries are known in the Portuguese-speaking world as the PALOP, a Portuguese acronym for African countries having Portuguese as their official language. This service would initially be delivered by satellite, cable, and broadcast television, but in a second stage would add an interactive, web-based component delivered via satellite and/or landlines.


On 22 September 1997, the Roberto Marinho Foundation, a philanthropic affiliate of Rede Globo, Brazil’s leading television broadcaster, launched a 24-hour-a day educational chanel, Canal Futura. Canal Futura is delivered via digital satellite and cable throughout Brazil. In reality, eight hours per day of programming are repeated three times in different configurations based on market studies on the preferred viewing times of different audiences (pre-school children, school children, school dropouts in the labor force, teachers, adults, etc.). A wide variety of high-quality programming is provided, including the well-known Telecurso 2000 series allowing school dropouts to complete their primary, secondary, and technical training; programs to help people starting or running businesses; news programs focusing on news of the education sector; news programs on educational innovations; ecological programs; science programs, agricultural programs; and much more. Canal Futura is able to draw on the immense video archives of Rede Globo free of charge.

In July 2000 Peter Knight obtained the rights to transmit Canal Futura’s programming to Africa, where 25 to 30 percent of the Brazilian programming would be replaced by programs produced in Africa. Canal Futura Africano, the provisional name of the African version of Canal Futura, would be uplinked to a satellite with a footprint covering all the PALOP for free reception by individual users with antennas, rebroadcast by terrestrial non-profit broadcasters, and inclusion as a free offering in cable systems.

Promarte, an independent producer in Maputo, Mozambique that enjoys excellent ties to public broadcasters in that country, has expressed its interest in both producing programs itself and identifying other producers who could collaborate in production for. Efforts will be made to recruit additional producers, with first priority to producers in Angola, the most populous of the PALOP.

The Project

The project includes fivc principal components.

  1. Training of Promarte and other PALOP producers in Brazil by Canal Futura and its associated independent producers in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The Brazilian Cooperation Agency (Agência Brasileira de Cooperação - ABC), Brazil’s international aid organization, which devotes 30 percent of its resources to the PALOP, is a potential source of funding for this component, perhaps in association with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (Comunidade de Países Língua Portuguesa – CPLP).
  2. Production or acquistion of African educational television programs to substitute for part of the Brazilian content of Canal Futura. Prime candidates for African production would be news programs for use in classrooms, educational news programs, news of innovations in education with a focus on Africa, and historical and other culturally sensitive programs. Potential funders for this component would be companies doing business in the PALOP (including Brazilian companies), foundations with an interest in Africa, and international assistance agencies. This is the model used by Canal Futura in Brazil – Brazilian public and semi-public agencies, Brazilian companies, and multinational companies (e.g. Compaq and CNN) make annual contributions to the production costs of Canal Futura and in return have their logos displayed together with the programs they have helped fund.
  3. Uplinking of Canal Futura’s signal to a satellite for delivery to Maputo from Rio de Janeiro (alternatively the signal could be delivered by submarine cable), and uplinking of Canal Futura Africana’s signal to a high-powered satellite with a footprint covering sub-Saharian Africa. This is the portion that would be financed by the GSTF.
  4. Rebroadcast by terrestrial broadcasters and/or cable transmission. These services would be provided free of charge of public broadcasters in the PALOP and by cable companies, public or private. No charge could be made for transmitting Canal Futura Africana and no commercial messages included with its programming. This is a condition required by the Roberto Marinho Foundation to make available Canal Futura programming.
  5. Organization of a web-based interactive educational service provider to complement Canal Futura Africano. This is really a second stage of the project, and would be explored while undertaking components 1-4.

Organization and Fundraising

Knight-Moore Telematics for Education and Development (, a virtual company operating within Communications Development Incorporated (CDI) ( is carrying out the organizational work. CDI may administer the financial resources obtained for the project and provide the required monitoring and reporting for funders. Alternatively, if a non-profit or Brazilian organization is required by funders, such an entity can be set up by Knight-Moore, which has offices in Washington and Rio de Janeiro.

Pknight 06/02/00