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Discop Africa: RTI’s Ahmadou Bakayoko Shakes Up West African Biz

Bayayoko ramps up production for powerhouse pubcaster in Ivory Coast

JOHANNESBURG — When he took the helm at Ivory Coast pubcaster RTI in 2013, after a successful stint at Canal Plus Africa, director-general Ahmadou Bakayoko was tasked with transforming the staid state institution into a modern broadcaster. Since then, Bakayoko has shaken up programming, overseen forays into dubbing and distribution, and turned RTI into a production powerhouse. As memories of two recent civil wars begin to fade, and Abidjan again tries to establish itself as “the Paris of West Africa,” Bakayoko has positioned the pubcaster to be the fulcrum for the Francophone region’s most important TV hub. This year he’s announced plans to ramp up production of premium series, while also venturing into animation, docs, and feature films, with an eye toward turning RTI into what he calls “the leading public broadcaster” in sub-Saharan Africa. Next up are efforts to bridge the gap with English-speaking territories, which Bakayoko says “are at the heart of our strategic goals.”

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