First Tuareg TV Channel Launched

Published: 30 July 2014

Region: North Africa & Europe

TuaregsThe first Tuareg TV channel was launched in Paris in late July, aiming to “correct the prevailing image” of Tuaregs, nomadic population of the Saharan regions in North Africa.

“The channel hopes to become an open window and a platform capable of providing correct information about the Tuareg community, as well as everything relating to their past as much as to their present and future.” stated the channel’s director Akla Chaka, Tuareg journalist and former documentary producer.

The Tuareg are semi-nomadic herders and traders. They live mainly in Northern Mali and across its borders in Niger, but small communities can also be found in Burkina Faso, Algeria and Libya. They are descended from the Berbers of North Africa and their language, a branch of the Berber languages, is spoken by almost 1.2 million speakers.

Lately, the Western media has referred to the Tuareg quite often, mainly because of the involvement of part of their population in the conflict that broke out in Mali. In this context, the Tuareg have been described mostly as rebels or separatists.

The new TV channel, called Toumast (=Culture), seeks to adopt a “moderate discourse, staying away from tribal affiliations and regionalism, and analyse objectively the issues present in the region with a preference for politics, Tuareg culture and the Libyan crisis”.

Toumast already broadcasts in Arabic, French and Tamazight. The headquarters are currently in Paris but there are plans to open offices in various North African countries.