Youssou Ndour Joins Effort To Spread WorldSpace Message, 17 November 2000

Washington DC—World-famous Senegalese Mbalax star Youssou Ndour on Friday promised to work with a Senegalese company, Comptoire Commercial Bara Mboup (CCBM), to market WorldSpace digital receivers in West Africa and Europe.

The WorldSpace Corporation is the brainchild of Ethiopian entrepreneur, Noah Samara.It aims to deliver top quality audio and data services to the developing world via the special receivers, which are designed to pick up high-quality signals direct from WorldSpace satellites. In Africa, if the project succeeds, it could provide access to FM quality multi-channel radio services anywhere on the continent.

Ndour is also participating in the WorldSpace system by contributing audio from his Dakar radio station La 7.

In brief remarks at a reception in Washington DC hosted in his honour by WorldSpace, Youssou Ndour said he was happy to support the project. He said while music was entertaining and fun, it could also do a lot to support worthy causes.

Over the years, Senegal's (and possibly Africa's) most popular musician has built himself a reputation as a committed philanthropist, helping young musicians, supporting charitable causes and serving as ambassadors of peace and the arts for the children's organization, Unicef, and for Senegal.

Currently on a tour of the US, Youssou Ndour recently held a concert in New York and will perform in Washington on Tuesday, November 21.

Ndour's rise to international stardom began in the 1970s when his sharp melodious voice was discovered by Dakar's Star Band Kasseh. After a stint with this band, Youssou teamed up with fellow musician Alhagie Faye to found the Etoile de Dakar. A few years later, Youssou left to start the now world-famous Super Etoile band.

We are extremely pleased that a musical giant like Youssou Ndour is participating in the Worldspace system. We are overjoyed that he has also agreed to join CCBM in helping consumers in Africa and Europe understand the great value of the Worldspace experience, said Samara, WorldSpace's Chairman and CEO.

WorldSpace was founded in 1990 to provide direct satellite delivery of digital audio and multimedia services to the emerging markets of the world including Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

WorldSpace has launched two out of three geostationary satellites, AfriStar and AsiaStar, and plans to launch the third, AmeriStar, next year. Once completed, Worldspace claims it will be able to reach an audience of 4.6 billion people worldwide.