(Ecofin Agency) – It was about time DIFFA settled in Africa. The Paris-based firm whose acronym stands for Distribution Internationale de Films et de Fictions en Afrique (distribution of films and dramas in Africa) has indeed opened its francophone Africa bureau in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. According to the French magazine “Jeune Afrique”, a second office was announced in Nairobi, Kenya, instead of Johannesburg in South Africa as initially announced. The Nairobi office will cover Anglophone Africa.
DIFFA’s new majority shareholder is Lagardère Studios from Lagardère Group which hereby expand its networking strategy in Africa. With DIFFA, the group focuses on distribution and production of drama and audiovisual pieces. At the time of its acquisition in May 2015, DIFFA claimed a catalog of over 500 hours of 100% African programs (films, documentaries, magazines and series). The distribution company had already represented 25 production companies in a dozen African countries. Today, they are offering 700 hours of content, as well as partnerships with no less than 40 producers and directors in 20 countries of the continent.
The Lagardère group aims to achieve DIFFA’s initial ambition which is not only representing the largest number of African professionals, but also to become a benchmark in the international market. Founded 3 years ago, DIFFA was previously based only in Paris from where the company distributed to Africa and the world. Offices on the continent help easily control the continent’s market.
Lagardère is also present in Africa as an audiovisual media editor. Since March 2015, the Youth television channel Gulli Africa is available in 20 African countries through the Canal+ Bouquets. Two Vibe Radio stations are also installed on the continent. After the first opened in Dakar, Senegal, in September 2014, the second began broadcasting in Abidjan this year.
Be it with DIFFA or the audiovisual media creation, Lagardère’s journey in Africa is just beginning. An adventure which is to be led by the Lagardère Studios label, who replaced Lagardère Entertainment. A new name has been given to the subsidiary of Lagardère specializing in audiovisual productions. For its international development, the new entity has been organized in four divisions: TV France Production, International TV Production, Distribution/Formats acquisition as well as Corporate/Digital.
Source : Ecofin Agency, December 8th, 2015, author Assongmo Necdem