By BBC World Service International Publicity
Published January 16, 2015
BBC World Service, an international multimedia broadcaster, has on January 16, 2015 announced new digital investment aimed at reaching new audiences in Africa.
The launch of the Africa edition of the bbc.com website ensures that English-speaking internet users on the continent will see far more African news stories, features and video on the bbc.com front page, while the bbc.com/Africa section, dedicated to African news, will also see significant enhancements.
With its news-gathering presence in 48 countries of the continent, the BBC has more reporters in Africa than any other broadcaster. The launch of the Africa edition of bbc.com will bring more of the stories produced by the BBC journalists, and their unique understanding of the subjects they are covering, to digital platforms.
Users coming to bbc.com from any African country will now see a home page more relevant to the continent, with more live developments on moving news and sports stories as well as enhanced coverage of health, technology and business, in text, pictures, audio and video. The Africa edition will provide more expert analysis from the BBC reporters to explain the issues behind the headlines and in-depth features on a broad range of topics, to give a balanced portrayal of the vibrant African continent.
BBC will also continue to give a voice to Africaâ€™s massive online audience via dedicated space on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, SoundCloud and YouTube.
The BBCâ€™s digital audiences are growing rapidly, and this investment is designed to ensure this continues as increasing numbers of people in Africa get their news via mobile phones.
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Dmitry Shishkin, BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor, says, â€œWe have had consistent and impressive growth of the traffic to bbc.com from Africa over the past two years. This growth is especially significant among audiences using mobile devices to access our content â€“ 40% year on year. Over half of African browsers coming to bbc.com are using mobile devices. The new Africa edition, available on mobile, tablet and desktop versions, takes advantage of this strong presence and growth, and is editorially tailored for these audiences, making sure we serve them best with our multi-platform content.â€
â€œBBC covers Africa like no other international broadcaster,” says Solomon Mugera, BBC Africa Editor. “This new digital proposition serves as an excellent framework for our significant presence and deep understanding of the continent, making our offer even more exciting, fresh and dynamic. The timing of this launch couldnâ€™t be better as BBC Africa teams are geared to deliver a comprehensive coverage of Africa Cup of Nations to the continent, which always brings new audiences to the BBC. Now they will see this content in an even more relevant way.â€
With its content in Arabic, English, French, Hausa, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kiswahili and Somali, BBC World Service connects with its African audiences through a variety of delivery methods including TV, radio on FM, shortwave and satellite, online and mobile devices and social networking channels.
The language websites â€“ bbcafrique.com (French for Africa), bbcarabic.com, bbcgahuza.com (Kinyarwanda/Kirundi), bbchausa.com, bbcsomali.com and bbcswahili.com – provide audiences with news, information and analysis in text, audio and video. The flagship TV content for Africa includes BBC World Newsâ€™ shows, Focus on Africa presented by Sophie Ikenye and Peter Okwoche and Africa Business Report presented by Lerato Mbele, and BBC Swahiliâ€™s Dira ya Dunia with Salim Kikeke. Together, the BBCâ€™s global news services reach 93 million people across the continent each week.