Eurovision Journey’s to Africa
Song of Africa was officially revealed during the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia. Bjoern Erichsen the Director of the EBU’s TV unit revealed to Reuters that discussions were ongoing with multiple production companies across the globe about international versions of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The European Broadcasting Union had recently agreed to sell the format for a contest in North Africa and the Middle East and was at the time close to securing a deal for a contest in sub-Saharan Africa. The Producers of Song of Africa aimed for the first contest to be held in 2011.
Brenda Devar, a Director at the company organising Song of Africa, stated at the time that securing the licencing for the contest was a large financial commitment. A deal was hoped to be close between the EBU and the Production Company.
Song of Africa would follow a similar format to that of the Eurovision Song Contest. Each participating country would hold a national selection to determine the singer and song representing their country. The selections would be held in the eight months before the competition.
The final would be held in Johannesburg on May 25, 2011. Between nine and ten countries would take part in the competition. No specific countries were named during the interview with Reuters.
The contest was budgeted to cost 15-20 million African Rand which was between $1.7 and $2.3 million.
What happened to the contest?
Following the initial reports in May 2009 about the contest, there was no further reporting on the competition. It is assumed that the European Broadcasting Union and Song of Africa failed to reach an agreement on licensing the format.