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New Platform for VOA Television in Africa

A new agreement between Voice of America and a South Africa-based company, Tuluntulu, paves the way for Africans to watch VOA English-language television on their mobile devices regardless of the network that they use.

“We are thrilled,” says Sheila Gandji, Director of VOA English Programming, “that our television programming is finding audiences throughout Africa on a new platform.”

Tuluntulu is a content distribution platform for mobile phones. Its founder and CEO, Pierre van der Hoven, says the Tuluntulu app his company has developed uses several different technologies to achieve a low bandwidth to stream video smoothly over different types of networks, including mobile and WiFi. Low bandwidth networks are predominant throughout the African continent, and the Tuluntulu app now makes video streaming on these networks a reality.

“Tuluntulu is delighted to partner with VOA,” said van der Hoven. “Free quality content like the VOA channel, adds tremendous value to the Tuluntulu customer value proposition.”

VOA is available on one of the 12 Tuluntulu channels. Initial offerings include such popular VOA programs as On Assignment, Africa 54, Straight Talk Africa, Border Crossings, and The Correspondents. At present 15.5 million people in Africa tune in weekly to VOA English television, and the Tuluntulu app is expected to make the VOA English audience even bigger because it brings its television programming to mobile users.

“Smartphones are the fastest-growing sector throughout Africa, and as a result, the demand for television on mobile devices is expanding rapidly,” said Doug Boynton, Director of Marketing and Placement. VOA’s presence on Tuluntulu, Boynton adds, is another sign of “VOA’s commitment to reach a broad mobile audience on the African continent.”

According to van der Hoven, the Tuluntulu app is gaining real traction and growing on all fronts on the African continent. He says it has been downloaded 100,000 times and, in December alone, achieved over 33,000 active users accessing the app over 170,000 times.

Launched in 2014, Tuluntulu has been named one of the top ten startup companies in South Africa.