British broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is set to invest about $10m in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, as part of an expansion they announced earlier this year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Friday that the British broadcaster’s investment will lead to the creation of jobs for some 200 Kenyans.
The BBC is set to establish modern multimedia studios in Nairobi to coordinate production of their content in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya.
From Nairobi, the BBC will work with local broadcasters and independent production companies to create local and regional content across various genres, including business and health.
“From Nairobi, the BBC will work with local broadcasters and independent production companies to create local and regional content across various genres, including business and health,” a note from BBC editor Solomon Mugera read.
The Nairobi studios will produce content and programmes for Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya audiences in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
That will bring to five the number of languages the BBC produces – Kiswahili and Somali programmes are cooked from its bureau in Nairobi. The other three new languages Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin will be based in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Kenyan president lauded the BBC’s investment move alluding to the country’s thriving democracy, skilled media and art talents, ICT infrastructure and guarantee for media rights as unmatched.
“We have made massive investments in infrastructure that make us the investment destination of choice for many and we are elated that the BBC is making these giant steps that will lead to employment of some of Kenya’s talent,” President Kenyatta said.
About the BBC massive expansion
As part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s. Six African languages formed part of the 11 new languages service that the BBC is due to roll out this year. They are: Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Tigrinya, Igbo, Yoruba and Nigerian Pidgin.
Afaan Oromo and Amharic are widely spoken in Ethiopia with the former also spoken in some parts of Kenya, Somalia and Egypt.
Tigrinya is mainly spoken in Eritrea and also in some parts of Ethiopia while Igbo, Yoruba and the Nigerian Pidgin are spoken mainly in Nigeria and in other parts of West Africa.
The other five language services are Asian including Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu which are spoken widely in India and then Korean which is spoken in the North and South Korea.