Web offers Portuguese-language channel to 49 countries

JOHANNESBURG — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva last week announced the launch of TV Brasil Intl., a Portuguese-language web targeting African nations.

The Brazil-based net will be re-broadcast via Mozambique’s capital Maputo to 49 African nations.

It also plans to begin broadcasting in Latin America, North America and Europe in the months ahead.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in Brasilia, president Lula said he hoped the new net would cast Brazil in a positive light abroad.

“I want a channel that speaks well of the country, that can show Brazil as it really is,” he said.

Officials hope TV Brasil Intl. will extend the country’s cultural influence in the Portuguese-speaking African countries of Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau plus Sao Tome and Principe, one of Africa’s smallest nations — comprising two islands in the Gulf of Guinea — and Cape Verde, an island nation off Africa’s west coast.

The web will feature programming from the domestic TV Brasil, with an emphasis on news and cultural programming.

Brazilian soccer and soap operas already have a large following in Africa.

Mozambique’s President Armando Emilio Guebuza said, in a pre-recorded message, that he hoped the launch of TV Brasil Intl. would “enrich communication between Brazil and Africa.”

In recent months, Brazil has increased its investment in the continent’s former-Portuguese colonies to strengthen economic and cultural ties.

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