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US 24-Hour Cable Business Channel to Launch in Africa

U.S. cable television network CNBC is preparing to start the first 24-hour news and information channel dedicated to covering sub-Saharan Africa.

Network officials say CNBC Africa will launch Friday from its main headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. The network will also have bureaus in Lagos, Abuja, Nairobi and Cape Town.

The network will emphasize business, economic and financial market news from around the continent. It says it will also feature live broadcasts from CNBC's Europe, Middle East, Asian and U.S. networks and allow for several hours of local programing.

Network officials say they will present news to Africans from an African perspective. African governments frequently complain about Western coverage of their continent, saying it focuses too much on negative events such as natural disasters.

CNBC and its affiliates claim to reach more than 200 million households worldwide.

The channel is owned by NBC Universal, the broadcasting unit of U.S.-based General Electric.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.