BBC Launches First Africa Digital Service ‘Pidgin’ Since 1940

BBC Launches First Africa Digital Service 'Pidgin' Since 1940
BBC Launches First Africa Digital Service ‘Pidgin’ Since 1940

BBC Launches First Africa Digital Service ‘Pidgin’ Since 1940

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.

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.”

Bilkisu Labaran, the Editorial Lead, said, “We are so proud to be launching the BBC’s first digital service in Africa. Pidgin is the language spoken among so many people across West and Central Africa and for the first time, we will be connecting with the next generation of speakers. Pidgin is the common thread in the region, the language of unity spoken by people from all walks of life, and we are excited at the prospect of providing this service.”

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.

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