UNESCO and BBC join forces to distribute science programmes in developing nationsUNESCO and the BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, have agreed to work together to provide high-quality television programmes on science and technology to developing nations in Africa and Asia.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the BBC and UNESCO on 22 September, the Organization has acquired the rights for one year to 46 titles in the award-winning BBC Horizon series for distribution in 41 African and 9 Asian countries*.
Each of the 50-minute programmes will be distributed by UNESCO to public service broadcasters free of charge. The broadcasters will be entitled to air each film up to six times on national television. Basic science, including life sciences are among the subjects covered by the programmes, alongside ecology and earth sciences - including disaster mitigation and topics such as Einstein’s theory of relativity; tsunamis, and gene therapy.
The British government is providing financial support to the project, notably to help defray the cost of duplicating and distributing the programmes. Cooperation between UNESCO and the BBC is expected to be extended beyond the sciences, to the fields of education, culture and communication through the licensing of BBC Worldwide content.
*In Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia.
In Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka