(Naole Media) – In exciting news for African media fans, the BBC recently announced that two of its flagship programmes focusing on Africa will now be produced directly on the continent. The move reflects the growing importance of Africa in the global media landscape. From 5 June, Dira ya Dunia and Focus on Africa TV will be produced locally, marking a significant turning point for the BBC’s international service.

According to an announcement on the BBC World Service website, the international arm of the British broadcaster, the initiative is designed to strengthen links with African audiences. Dira ya Dunia, which has been broadcast in Swahili for decades, is regarded as a reliable source of information for millions of listeners in East and Central Africa and the diaspora. Editor-in-chief Athuman Mtulya expressed his delight at the prospect of presenting a new version of the programme, promising exciting and enriching content. For her part, Alice Muthengi, editor of Focus on Africa, stressed the importance of putting African voices at the heart of the programmes, offering viewers much more than just a review of headlines.

While the BBC insists on its commitment to bringing Africa closer together, some can’t help but make the connection with the financial problems facing the British broadcaster. In 2022, when the BBC World Service announced that it would be cutting many jobs, it warned that this would lead to the closure of some Arabic, Persian and Chinese radio stations, as well as the discontinuation of some television programmes in Africa and Asia. In addition, there had already been talk of transferring the African television news team from London to Nairobi, Kenya. It is therefore natural to consider this ‘rapprochement with Africa’ as an economic decision.

However, it is important to note that this decision can also be interpreted as a response to the growing influence of Russian and Chinese media in Africa. Russian and Chinese media are gaining in popularity on the continent, and the increased presence of British media can be seen as an attempt to counterbalance this growing influence.

All in all, the BBC’s announcement marks a turning point in the way the world’s media view Africa. By moving closer to the continent and highlighting African voices, the BBC is demonstrating its willingness to adapt to the changing realities of the African media landscape, while facing its own financial challenges.