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Imagine Afrika: A reality TV show promotes a vision of a future without HIV

Posted Nov 17 2008 8:57pm

Imagescazsiabh_2 Imagine Afrika, a reality TV show pitting teams of African young people against each other in a competition to address some of the problems facing the continent, will soon begin its second season. The 13-episode show, which spans five African countries, highlights the experience of twelve young contestants as they work with communities to generate solutions to local problems. The show's challenges focus on factors contributing to the HIV epidemic, including poverty and struggling health services, with the goal of "demonstrating the power of personal initiative, self esteem, and leadership." Each week, audiences across Africa vote for their favorite teams, while a panel of experts score their efforts. A season finale brings together all the teams for a final challenge.

Although the show has been well received, critics have noted the difficulties of developing a pan-African product that reflects the cultural, linguistic, and epidemiological diversity of the continent.The show's creators plan to conduct an impact evaluation of the show during the coming year.

Imagine Afrika was developed by the African Broadcast Media Partnership Against HIV/AIDS as part of its It Begins with YOU campaign, a multi-year pan-African HIV program launched in December 2006.

For more information, see www.itbeginswithyou.org/tv_show/index.html

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