BBC World Service unveils African content

By Content Nigeria reporter
June 16, 2023


The BBC World Service has introduced three new projects in Africa intended to demonstrate the UK pubcaster’s commitment to getting closer to audiences and invest in journalism on the continent.

Waihiga Mwaura

They include the show Focus on Africa TV, a Focus on Africa podcast and a relaunch of radio programme Dira ya Dunia.

The Focus on Africa TV show is hosted by Waihiga Mwaura and will make sense of stories from the continent and around the world.

“It’s great being able to witness history happening but also being a part of it. Bringing the programme closer to the 1.3 billion people that make up the African continent for me is very exciting because it means that we can do a lot of things differently by just being able to be closer to them,” said Mwaura.

The Focus on Africa podcast, hosted by BBC journalist Audrey Brown, will continue to diversify the range of opinions coming out of Africa, and offer more context to African news and current affairs.

Dira ya Dunia is presented by Roncliffe Odit and offers Swahili radio news and content. The show will build on the use of digital storytelling methods in the programmes, including the introduction of explainers to help break down complex news topics with in-depth analysis, context and insight.

Mehvish Hussain, executive editor at BBC News, said: “The way audiences are seeking news is evolving and so are we. With the BBC’s trusted brand and our deep understanding of Africa, we are uniquely positioned to provide audiences with the independent news and analysis they need to make informed decisions about their lives. These changes mean they will be able to watch and listen when and where it suits them.”

Alice Muthengi, editor of Focus on Africa, added: “Our incredible production teams have worked hard to create new and engaging content that will provide our audiences with more value than ever before. Focus on Africa will be closer to our audiences, providing more than just headlines, and putting African voices at the heart of our programmes.”

Regarding the new incarnation of Dira ya Dunia, editor Athuman Mtulya said: “For decades, Dira ya Dunia has been a trusted source of news for millions of listeners in East and Central Africa, as well as diaspora audiences.

“We have brought quality news to audiences in Swahili, evidence of BBC News’ unique multilingual broadcasting offer globally. As the new editor, I look forward to bringing our audiences a more in-depth, more engaging, and more relevant show than ever before. We want to ensure that we focus on stories that are representative of our audiences.”

Focus on Africa TV is broadcast on the BBC News channel at 17.30 GMT, the Focus on Africa podcast is available via BBC World Service radio at 15.00 and 19.00 GMT on weekdays, while Dira ya Dunia is broadcast at 18.00 GMT via media partner channels across Africa on weekdays.