Diasporian News of Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Source: GNA

BBC partner Metro to telecast ‘Focus on Africa’ in Ghana

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has partnered Metropolitan Entertainment Television (Metro TV) to telecast ‘BBC Focus on Africa’ for the Ghanaian audience.

The programme would bring together the expertise of BBC World Service’s African Service and BBC World News on Television.

It is the first in a range of new programming for Africa to be launched by the BBC this summer, including a major expansion of its television offer.

A release issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday said ‘BBC Focus on Africa’ would be aired by the BBC’s broadcasting partners in Africa including Metro TV in Ghana, and would be shown globally on BBC World news.

It said Komla Dumor and Sophie Ikenye would be the main presenters of the daily 30 minutes news programme, which formed part of an extension of the BBC’s offer on TV, radio and online.

"BBC Focus on Africa would be launched on prime time TV across the continent from June 18 at 17:30 GMT. It would draw on the pool of BBC African talents on the continent and in London to report on Africa’s rising economies, entrepreneurs, innovators, culture, entertainment and sports,” it stated.

The release said the programme would cover major news from the continent and challenge African leaders and politicians on tough issues.

It would report on the latest development in business, technology, science; and speak to those driving the change, and look at how Africa was becoming an Information Technology hotspot.

The release indicated that Focus on Africa reporters across Africa would be given a snap shot of innovation, lifestyle, and culture of the country they lived in ,adding that, the programme would feature African beats.

Mr. Dumor, one of the presenters said, after decades of turmoil and uncertainty, a new Africa was emerging.

He said the old stereotypes were being challenged and a new compelling narrative was being written.

Mr. Dumor expressed his excitement for being part of the new BBC programme that would provide solid coverage and analysis of Africa’s challenges and prospects.

Mr. Talal Fatal, Chief Executive Officer of Metro TV, said the debut of BBC’s Focus on Africa programme was timely and filled a vacuum with much needed credible daily African news programme on prime time.

He said Metro TV was proud to have been chosen by the BBC as the FTA platform to broadcast the programme, saying they would utilise all their resources to make it a resounding success.

Mr. Solomon Mugera, BBC Africa Editor, said Africa was now one of the fastest developing News markets in the world, and this new investment would expand the service for African audience.

“While radio remains popular in Africa, TV is growing, and our partnership with leading African broadcasters plays a key part in these future plans. Mobile phone ownership is racing towards a billion, internet connectivity is rising and social media is empowering audience. It is 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.”

Mr. Mugera said “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 African countries they report on, in English, Swahili, Hausa, Somali, Kinyarwanda or Kirundi and French-living and breathing the big stories and issues facing Africa”.**