AREWA24 App Offers Original Hausa-Language Videos for Northern Nigeria

by: | May 19, 2016

We’re pleased to share the news that the AREWA24 app, designed and developed by ArcTouch, is now available for iPhone and Android phones.


iTunes app store download     Google Play download

We’ve worked with the largest broadcasting brands on the planet, including CBS, NBC and ABC. Each of our media-related projects has been unique, and we’re proud of our work on all those apps.

But the Arewa24 effort was unique for us because of the market it serves and the problem it addresses. AREWA24 is a free Hausa-language satellite television channel produced by northern Nigerians that showcases daily life, culture and aspirations of contemporary Northern Nigeria. AREWA24’s Hausa-language television content is also filling a gap for Hausa speakers around the world, as a way to reconnect with their culture.

Region of turmoil

Nigeria has long been mired in a state of turmoil and violence — driven by Boko Haram, a terrorist group based in northeastern Nigeria.

AREWA24 was launched in 2014 by Equal Access International, a San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to promoting human rights and advancing social change in the developing world through information and education, and funded by the U.S. State Department.

The aim of AREWA24, according to the Equal Access website, is to offer “entertaining and inspiring programming for youth, women and entire communities in a historically marginalized part of the country whose media sector has been slow to develop.”

Leading up to the launch in 2014, the Equal Access team spoke with many locals throughout northern Nigeria about the potential of AREWA24. And according to an Equal Access press release, feedback included, “We want to take our role in leading. This is our chance to reflect our vision for a positive and productive future free of violence. Maybe now, the world will see our gifts and the beauty of our culture. We are ready to be pioneers.”

Developing the content and broadcasting it has been only a part of the challenge. One of the biggest obstacles for the network has been distribution — particularly because of a shortage of televisions and electricity in the region. Many people in the region use mobile phones as their primary means of consuming news and entertainment. Fast forward to 2016, and now users can watch AREWA24 content via native apps on Android phones and iPhone.

AREWA24 app project 411

The AREWA24 app project was focused on making it as simple as possible for viewers to find and watch their favorite programs — but also straightforward for the content producers to publish new programs to the app. In particular, ArcTouch developed an integration with YouTube that allows producers to upload new content directly to AREWA24’s YouTube channel, and the content will then be synched with the app instantly.

Some of the app’s features include:

  • Watch AREWA24 original programs on demand
  • Save favorite programs for easy access
  • Browse the daily and weekly broadcast schedule
  • Engage directly with the channel and other viewers through social media
  • Receive push notifications when new episodes are available
  • Text and call the channel through SMS text messaging and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) calling

“The new app allows us to reach on-the-go mobile users in Nigeria and worldwide with our original, authentic and entertaining Hausa language programming,” said AREWA24 content manager Rakiya Usman. “We’re thrilled with the work ArcTouch did to help us stay on the cutting edge of new mobile content distribution tools and technologies.”

Learn more

To learn more about the new AREWA24 app, visit AREWA24’s web site or read the press release.