The Africa Channel will launch in high-definition on Aug. 1, according to network officials.
The HD version of the network will be available in select markets where The Africa Channel is carried, although the network would not reveal specific system launches.
"In keeping with the technological advancements in television, The Africa Channel wants to meet the growing needs and desires of our audience by providing them with the high quality viewing experience that HD programming has to offer," Bob Reid, executive vice president and general manager of The Africa Channel, said in a statement. "As part of our HD launch, we are also proud to announce the premiere of an exciting new lineup of original series and specials."
New shows include African Ancestry, a one-hour series that seeks to determine the ancestry of African-American celebrities and then goes with them to their newly discovered homeland; African Literary Giants, a one-hour series profiling the continent's best authors; African Art, a 13-part series focusing on a specific area of African Art, exploring elements of both tradition-based and contemporary ar;t and Stand Up Comedy, a series featuring Africa's funniest stand up comedians.
Also new to the network is Inside Egypt, a one-hour series that explores the hidden secrets of Egypt from the ancient pyramids to top restaurants and night spots; "Cinema Showcase," a two-hour block of classic and contemporary African movies in HD; Inside Filmmaking, a series in which noted and rising producers, directors and actors give viewers the inside stories behind their films; Focus Features Presents: Africa First, a series of shorts produced by first-time filmmakers from Africa; and Africa Collective, a music series featuring young and seasoned African artists performing "unplugged" in-studio, and sharing their personal stories of success.