The British Broadcasting Corporation on Monday launched BBC Pidgin, the first African digital service as part of the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s.
The new digital service is aimed at younger and female audiences with social media playing a key role and will also feature BBC Minute, broadcasting six times a day, with a round up of the world in 60 seconds.
It will provide news, current affairs and analysis of Nigeria, West and Central Africa as well as international news from the BBC’s global network of correspondents and an extensive coverage of culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, science & technology, health and sport including the English Premier League. The new service will also provide the BBC’s global audience with a better understanding of the region, Premium Times reports
The World Service Director Francesca Unsworth said, “For more than eighty years the BBC World Service has brought trusted news to millions across the globe. I’m delighted that millions of people in Nigeria and beyond, will be able to access the BBC in such a popular language as Pidgin.”
Pidgin is spoken by 75 million people in Nigeria alone, with additional speakers in Cameroon, Ghana, and Equatorial Guinea. It is primarily an oral language, without a standard agreed written form. With the introduction of the new service, the BBC said it hopes to contribute to the development of the language.