BBC to introduce news show for Africa

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 10-06-2012

A dedicated daily television news programme is to be launched by the BBC for Africa this summer, as part of a range of new content for audiences on or from the continent.

From 18 June 2012, BBC Focus on Africa will be shown globally on BBC World News and by the Corporation's broadcast partners in Africa at 17.30 GMT. It will draw on the knowledge of the African Service from the BBC World Service as well as its World News team.

Komla Dumor and Sophie Ikenye have been named as the main presenters of the daily 30-minute news programme.

"After decades of turmoil and uncertainty, a new Africa is emerging," said Komla Dumor. "The old stereotypes are being challenged and a new, compelling narrative is being written. I am incredibly excited to be part of a new BBC programme that will provide solid coverage and analysis of Africa's challenges and prospects."

Solomon Mugera, BBC Africa Editor, added: "Africa is now one of the fastest developing news markets in the world - this new investment will expand our services for African audiences.

"While radio remains popular in Africa, TV is growing - and our partnerships with leading African broadcasters play a key part in these future plans. Mobile phone ownership is racing towards a billion, internet connectivity is rising and social media is empowering audiences. It's essential that the kind of independent journalism the BBC does that isn't slanted to one political or commercial viewpoint remains central to the new media landscape.

"With correspondents in 48 African countries, production centres in Nairobi, Abuja, Johannesburg and Dakar and a weekly audience of 77 million, the BBC already has deep roots in the continent. Our journalists are from the African countries they report on - in English, Swahili, Hausa, Somali, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi and French - living and breathing the big stories and issues facing Africa."

Six special episodes of the BBC current affairs interview show Rendezvous, hosted by Zeinab Badawi, will also be broadcast on BBC World News from mid-June. Guests include President Kikwete of Tanzania