HuffPo’s new French-language edition in Africa aims to inspire democracy

The Huffington Post (s AOL) on Tuesday launched Al Huffington Post Maghreb, a French-language edition of the site covering Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria (the Maghreb region).
“The launch comes at a time when the Maghreb region, perhaps as much as any other in the world, is undergoing a seismic transformation — socially, politically, economically — which has drawn the world’s attention to Maghreb and its people and put the spotlight on its enormous untapped potential,” HuffPo president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington wrote in a blog post. And, she said, “there is a tremendous opportunity for Al Huffington Post Maghreb to do its part to contribute to the consolidation of the region’s young democracy.”
While the site’s content will be written in French, Huffington said “we intend to translate a lot of what appears in Al Huffington Post Maghreb — into English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and soon German — so that the reach of the voices from the new democracy can be truly global.”
Fares Mabrouk, cofounder of the Arab Policy institute, and novelist and journalist Alix Etournaud are helping to launch the site. The site’s editorial director is journalist Kader A Abderrahim. The site “will eventually include three editorial staffs of six to eight journalists each, first in Tunisia, then expanding to Morocco and Algeria.”
The Huffington Post also has editions in the U.K., Canada, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, and plans to launch in Germany this fall.