Abidjan Focuses on Radio Training
Ivory Coast —
Félix Houphouët-Boigny University (previously Abidjan University), named after
the first president of Ivory Coast, plays a vital part in the African country’s
social, economic and cultural development.
Eurocom collaborator Tevane Frey trains staff in the radio studios at Félix Houphouët-Boigny University.
east of the capital city in the suburb of Cocody, the university (www.univ-fhb.edu.ci) recently completed a major overhaul to
its audiovisual facilities with the addition of six radio studios and a TV
studio to be used for both broadcasting and training.
systems integrator Eurocom Broadcast handled the facility upgrade, which was
completed in December, just a few days before the start of the new academic
The project was coordinated by two of the university’s
professors, one of whom, Sako Aboubakar is a professor of atmosphere physics.
Aboubakar handled the gear selection and is in charge of information technology
While there are many FM stations and some Web radio
stations in Ivory Coast, Houphouët-Boigny University is the first university to
run its own Web radio.
“We started from scratch,” said Aboubakar. “We
began little by little and we are now dealing with the practical aspects,” he
said. “The adviser to the president of the republic in charge of education,
Diawara Adama, wanted to train audiovisual professionals in the studio as well
as using them for broadcasting. This adds a cultural dimension.”
Aboubakar explained that they are now in the process of
designing their program content and additional training offerings. “At first,
we are mainly concentrating on professional training for radio engineers and
presenters. Then, we’ll eventually expand to cover formatting, entertainment
and news program production,” he said.
With six control rooms, four studio facilities and two
mobile units the university radio section is teaching radio professionals and
students alike, and counted as many as 700 students the first year.
Equipment installed at the university.
“Our mission is
vast. We also aim to provide support such as qualitative information, with the
objective of raising the level of broadcasters in general,” he said.
Both training and technical aspects are important to
Aboubakar, who plans to also apply for an FM license. “Radio is a politically
sensitive instrument, and only skilled professionals should be behind a mic,”
According to Bruno Guers, Eurocom Broadcast CEO, the
university contacted the French company in 2012 with the idea of revamping its
facilities, and — once the technical aspects were finalized — Eurocom began
on-site integration in 2013.
Guers explained that it took them six weeks after
validation of the order to gather the equipment, test it, integrate it into the
studio furniture in the Eurocom assembly factory and pre-cable it. When ready,
they shipped the containers to Ivory Coast, where two Eurocom collaborators
assembled and installed the gear on site in just two weeks. They then trained
the local staff.
The gear Eurocom supplied to Félix Houphouët-Boigny
University included three Eurocom Packradio A1 turnkey radio studio kits,
featuring a D&R Airmate studio console desk; one Eurocom Packradio A2
studio kit with a D&R Airlab studio console desk; one Eurocom Packradio WP2
package with a WinMedia broadcasting system; and two Eurocom Packradio A1-MHF
mobile remote package with a 100 W Ecreso transmitter.
Tevane Frey helps university staff test the gear and functionalities in the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University radio studios.
Pautler reports on the industry for Radio World from Paris.