Press Office

Monday 21 Apr 2014

Press Release

BBC launches dedicated content for Nigeria at Africast 2010

The BBC is to launch a range of new programming and services tailored specifically for Nigeria at the conference, Africast 2010: Africa's investment platform for broadcast content and technology, in Abuja this week.

BBC World Service journalist and editor, Joseph Warungu, has been invited to the conference to share with African broadcasters the BBC's expertise and experience in using the latest digital technologies to connect with audiences.

Africast 2010 will see the launch of The Changing World For Nigeria, a weekly series of documentary and feature programmes in English, chosen and presented specifically for listeners in Nigeria. Every week, the BBC's Bilkisu Labaran presents the series, offering personal insights and real-life stories that illuminate change, and thoughtful analysis from journalists who can question and explain. The Changing World For Nigeria will be broadcast on the BBC's growing network of partner stations whose input has also helped to shape the series.

Building on the popularity of live commentaries of the English Premier League on the World Service weekend sports programme, Sportsworld, the BBC is now launching a first for Nigeria – weekly full-time commentary in Hausa from the home of the Premier League, on the BBC Hausa Saturday programme, Sharhin Kwallon Premier League.

In another first, the BBC will also launch a pioneering partnership with the mobile network operator, MTN. Thanks to the arrangement, any MTN subscriber in Nigeria can now receive daily SMS texts of BBC news and sport updates directly to their mobile phones. Fans of English Premier League football can also receive a dedicated service of news about their favourite club. Any MTN subscriber can now text the SMS short-code 4200 for a complete list of available BBC services.

Africast 2010 delegates will also discover how they can benefit from BBC content that brings audiences a global perspective of regional events and developments. The BBC will showcase the BBC World News flagship monthly business programme for Africa, Africa Business Report, which is already popular across West Africa. To coincide with the conference in Abuja, the October edition of the programme has a special focus on Nigeria.

The BBC's international charity, BBC World Service Trust, will be talking to potential media partners interested in the power of media to support social change. BBC World Service Trust will highlight its programming, produced by its Abuja-based team, focusing on the themes of governance, health and livelihoods – including the TV drama, Wetin Dey, and the radio drama series, Story, Story – Voices From The Market, set in a fictional Nigerian community and carried on over 70 partner stations across Nigeria. The Trust's work in Nigeria is underpinned by a strong research team in Abuja, giving it a detailed knowledge of local media habits. Programmes such as Gatana Gatana Nku in Hausa and Nebor My Nebor in Pidgin English are also created to meet the audiences' language preferences.

Joseph Warungu, Editor of BBC World Service's flagship programmes for Africa, Network Africa and Focus On Africa, has been invited to Africast 2010 to share the BBC's expertise in reaching audiences using digital technologies. With his presentation, "Storytelling in a Digital World", the BBC journalist will take Africast 2010 participants on a journey across borders and across platforms as he describes a remarkable project that shared West Africa's passion for football with the world, Africa Kicks.

Business Development Manager, BBC World Service, Steve Martin, comments: "The BBC is committed to serving its audiences in Nigeria and we're looking forward to launching these tailored services at Africast 2010. Our new documentary series, live Premier League football in Hausa, and our new 4200 mobile service with MTN have been shaped by the needs and passions of Nigerian audiences and local broadcasters. Africast lets us share this content more widely and helps us make our programmes and services relevant and useful to audiences in Nigeria."

The BBC will be holding special launch events at Africast 2010, on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 October.

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