Changes at Africa Have Your Say
On Wednesday 26 October the African Have Your Say team will broadcast the programme for the last time. The editor, Stephane Mayoux explains why, and talks about the other changes to the BBC's African programmes.
BBC Africa’s schedule is changing and this is exciting! Our programmes needed to adapt to meet the changing demands of our African audiences and to make sure we make the best use of our resources.
We like many areas of the BBC World Service faced the challenge of the reduced financial settlement in the last government spending review. Our savings are not as substantial as other areas but nonetheless we have to meet them. So to keep making the impact we have made in Africa over the years, we decided we will make fewer, bigger, better programmes.
As you will have seen in July, we made changes to the week-end programmes, with the end of This Week in Africa and Weekend Network. But we have retained the Resident Presidents - the political satire that now makes waves on Network Africa every Friday morning.
One of the big changes we will be making at the end of the month is how we will interact, on and off air, with audiences across the continent and in the diaspora. Africa Have Your Say, after a very successful period as our main interactive programme is stopping as a radio programme. Interactivity and our work on social media will be integrated into all our output, with the emphasis in two areas.
First, from 31 October, Focus on Africa at 1700 GMT will be one-hour long, with increased input from what's happening on social media sites and increased audience participation. It will also include more sports and a daily arts item.
We realise there are more and more stories that our African audiences want to share and comment upon on social media sites. So our journalists will invest time to find out what those stories are and to identify new, passionate, knowledgeable contributors to our programmes.
In January 2012 we are also launching a new programme, the Africa Debate. Every month, we will produce a debate on African current issues, in the midst of our audiences, in Africa. We will be doing a preview of this programme from Kinshasa in November to coincide with the elections in the DR Congo.
Our documentary strand, African Perspective, is changing from a weekly programme to six original, hard-hitting, in-depth documentaries a year that have the time and resources to get under the skin of key African stories. African Perspective will be a global programme – audiences outside the continent will be able to listen too!
We know more and more of our audience are accessing our journalism online or via mobile phones.So we have dramatically increased our work online with more and more text, audio and video stories. When smart phones really take off in Africa – and this is about to happen – the whole continent will be able to enjoy all our journalism on radio, online and on mobile.
Thanks for your loyalty. Keep listening, keep reading, keep watching – and tell us what you think.