The national news agencies of Bulgaria and Senegal are starting for the first time an exchange of news according to the Cooperation Agreement between the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA) and the Press Agency of Senegal (Agence de Presse Sénégalaise – APS/APS), which was signed by the general directors of BTA Kiril Valchev and of APS Tierno Amadou Si. This happened in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Abu Dhabi during the second edition of the Global Media Congress under the title “Shaping the future of the media industry”, in which, according to the organizers from around the world, there are more than 13,500 participants, 5,500 delegates and 200 executives from international media organizations.
The agreement provides for each party to receive the other party’s full set of English-language news feeds, with both parties having the right to use this information in their news columns.
According to the agreement, each of the two agencies offers to the other each day one of its information on a significant news item from its country, with text in English and a photo, which the other agency will publish on its distribution channels for free reading by all visitors to the respective sites at explicit reference to the source.
The agreement also provides for the possibility of exchange of experience and professional visits of journalists and other media professionals from the two news agencies.
The Press Agency of Senegal was established in 1959.
Director-General Tierno Amadou Si stated on December 7, 2022, when he took office, his ambition to make the news agency the main source of news information in Senegal and abroad. “We will work with directors, heads of services and heads of departments to make the APS the true distributor of news representing Senegal,” he said at the official handover ceremony from the previous director general, Tierno Birahim Faull, who has led the agency for the last ten years.
Senegal is a presidential republic in West Africa on the Atlantic coast with an area of 196,722 square kilometers. Over 40 percent of the population of more than 18 million people are under the age of 14, and the average age is 19. Over 95 percent are Muslim.
After the declaration of independence of Senegal from France in 1960, Bulgaria established official diplomatic relations with the country in 1967. Since 1973, the seat of the Bulgarian ambassador accredited to Senegal has been in Accra (Ghana), since 1977 – in Rabat (Morocco), and from 1981 to 1990 in Conakry (Guinea). Since May 1990, Bulgaria has not had an accredited diplomatic representative in Senegal. The Embassy of Senegal in Paris (France) is accredited to Bulgaria.
According to the information of the “Reference” directorate of BTA, Bulgaria and Senegal have concluded agreements on air communications (1969), a long-term commercial agreement (1979) and an agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation (1981).
In 2012, the Council of Ministers approved a draft friendship and cooperation agreement between Bulgaria and Senegal, and the government’s reasons stated that “Senegal is among the developed countries in West Africa and is of primary importance in the general political and economic development of this part from the continent”. “The country plays an active role in the African Union and has a mediating role for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in West Africa. The country has a stable national currency with a fixed exchange rate to the euro. The conclusion of the contract will create a basis for the development and deepening of the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between Bulgaria and Senegal”, the reasons for approving the draft contract also state.
On December 10, 2022, the Days of Bulgarian Culture will be held in Dakar for the first time. From October 18 to November 10, 2023, in Sofia, in the “Mission” gallery of the State Cultural Institute under the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition “Our World” by the Senegalese artist Momar Sek is taking place. The exhibition is part of the program to mark 30 years of full membership of the Republic of Bulgaria in the International Organization of Francophonie.
Senegal is one of the most important African countries for the European fish market. On June 22, 2023, at a meeting in Paris (France), Senegal concluded an agreement with the European Union, Great Britain and Canada for 2.5 billion euros in financing for the development of renewable energy and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, with the country committing to 2030. to increase the share of electricity generated from renewable energy to 40 percent.
Since 2021, when the National Assembly made the access to the news of the national news agency open access, BTA has concluded 35 such cooperation agreements, which provide a free opportunity for all Bulgarian media to use news – except from global agencies from which BTA buys information – and from the national news agencies of Azerbaijan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vietnam, Ghana, Greece, Israel, India, Iran, Spain, Italy, Cambodia, Cyprus, Kosovo, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Liberia, Lebanon, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Ukraine, Philippines, Croatia, Montenegro.
The general directors of the national news agencies of Bulgaria and Senegal are participating in the second edition of the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of the national news agency of the United Arab Emirates UAM. BTA is also represented as the seat of the only international organization registered in Bulgaria – the Association of Balkan News Agencies-Southeastern Europe (ABNA-UE), as well as the current president of the News Agencies World Congress (NAWC), whose last the sixth edition was organized in 2019 in Sofia by the then general director of BTA Maxim Minchev.
The Director General of BTA presented the medal issued by the Mint of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the first news of BTA to the former president of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) and the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Fahrad Akran, as well as the newly elected new president of the 50th General Assembly of FANA held during the Abu Dhabi Congress, Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, who is the Director General of UAM – the information agency of the UAE. Valchev presented the medal to the general secretary of FANA Farid Ayar, inviting him and the management board of the federation to visit Bulgaria. National news agencies of 15 Arab countries are members of FANA – Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, UAE, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Tunisia.
At the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, Europe is also represented by the Secretary General of the Alliance of European News Agencies (EANA) Alexandru Djiboi, the member of the Management Board of EANA and the Director General of the national news agency of Romania ADJERPRESS Claudia Nicolae, the member of the Management Board of ABNA-EU and Director General of the National News Agency of Greece ANA MPA Emilios Perdikaris and other heads of global and national news agencies and media based in European countries, as well as their regional organizations.
Europe is also represented in the congress program with presentations by professors in the field of media and communications from leading universities such as the London School of Economics and Political Science, Great Britain, the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and others.
From Europe, Deutsche Welle, Germany, the national news agencies of Spain – EFE, Czech Republic – ČTK, Bosnia and Herzegovina – FENA, Albania – ATA and others have special stands at the exhibition accompanying the congress.