UNDERSTANDING PAY TV MARKETS IN AFRICA.

Heather Kennedy
MultiChoice Africa Ltd., South Africa

1. BACKGROUND

'Man developed in Africa. He has not continued to do so there.' P.J. O'Rourke's harsh one-liner sums up today's jaundiced view of Africa (Time, August 15 1994, 1). Africa is the oldest of continents; on her ancient soils mankind was born, and in Egypt and Nubia there developed amongst the world's earliest civilizations. Yet as we approach the final years of the twentieth century, Africa is widely seen as peripheral in the global context, forcing its attention on the rest of the world only in extremes, in the depths of war or famine (Africa Marketing and Media Statistics, 1993, 2). Witness to this have been the war and civil unrest in Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, where oil strikes, political unrest and the retreat from democracy have caused ruin to what was once seen as one of Africa's more successful economies.