Watch Your Brand New Africa-focused Programmes On BBC

wpid-manifestThe BBC has announced a raft of brand new Africa-focused programmes to complement its already extensive offering across TV, radio and online at The new content includes two programmes for BBC World News and Africa’s New Entrepreneurs, which started last month and introduces audiences to the brains behind some of the continent’s most successful and ingenious business ventures; and African Dream, which showcases inspirational stories across the continent from 28 October and sees entrepreneurs sharing their ups and downs as well as the secrets of their success.

A new series of Africa Beats will showcase the wonders of African music from 12 September featuring a range of artists hailing from across the continent including South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Mali, Madagascar, Nigeria, Western Sahara and Mozambique.

Reflecting the audience’s love of football, the importance of sport is also being recognised with the launch of the 2014 BBC African Footballer of the Year competition on 10 November and a series of bite-size videos to celebrate the return of some of the world’s most high profile football leagues.

As news breaks of the long awaited verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial, BBC World News’ Karin Giannone will be joined by Nomsa Maseko from the BBC’s Johannesburg bureau and the BBC’s Africa Correspondent Andrew Harding to bring all the latest developments to a global audience

Increasing commitment for a loyal and growing African audience

The new programmes underscore the BBC’s ongoing commitment to African audiences and will complement BBC World News’ existing regular flagship TV shows – Focus on Africa, Monday – Friday at 17.30 GMT, which offers a daily dose of African stories with global impact, and Africa Business Report, on Fridays at 18.40 GMT, which provides an in-depth look at the continent’s biggest financial stories of the week.

Research reveals that African audiences have responded to the BBC’s increased investment in locally relevant content, with studies showing that:

• The BBC now reaches 93 million people across the continent each week*
• BBC World News and reach nearly half of Africa’s affluent population**
• has 10 million unique browsers per month in Africa, with 4.5 million of these coming via mobile devices***

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd said, “As a predominantly news-based channel, our main purpose is to break the stories that matter to our audiences in Africa and around the world and the evidence shows that we are the leaders in that field. But we are also proud of our ability to invest in world-class programmes which go beyond the headlines and get to the heart of the places we broadcast to; to examine their people, their ways of life and their achievements. Our aim is for the richness of our programming to both showcase and reflect Africa’s cultural and creative contribution to the world.”

Over the past year the BBC has greatly enhanced its news offering for audiences in the region with several new African presenters and correspondents, the launch of programmes such as Africa Business Report on BBC World News, the trial of chat apps to enhance coverage of major news events and the creation of a dedicated business unit to support its network of 150 reporters and producers in 46 countries. In addition, the BBC World Service offers unmatched local language coverage with services in Hausa, Swahili, Somali, Kiryarwanda, Kirundi and Arabic. It has also recently opened a state-of-the-art bureau in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to deliver news across radio, television and digital mobile services for east Africans and across the continent.

In another move to offer African audiences the most relevant news provision of any international news broadcaster, BBC Hausa recently launched daily news alerts via Blackberry’s BBM service in its largest market, Nigeria. The service, which caters for the 96% of traffic that comes via its mobile website, allows users to receive up to five BBC Hausa news alerts daily, each with shareable story links.

BBC World News and Content highlights


Africa’s New Entrepreneurs

Over six weeks on BBC World News and at we meet the brains behind some of the continent’s most successful and ingenious business ventures.


Africa Beats

Begins 12th September

Africa Beats returns, showcasing some of the continent’s finest musicians in eight short films to be broadcast on BBC World News and online at

Episode 1 – 12th September       M.Anifest (Ghana)

In 2010, MTV spotlighted M.anifest as a hot new artist to look out for, and since then the awards have kept on coming. He was named “Best Rapper of the Year” at the 2013 Ghana Music Awards, and his originality, lyricism, flow and depth of content have led him to be acclaimed as one of contemporary Africa’s best kept secrets.

M.Anifest has already recorded with legends such as Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Afrobeat co-founder Tony Allen, Erykah Badu, and more.

Episode 2 – 19th September        Aziza Brahim (Western Sahara)

Aziza Brahim is granddaughter of Al Khadra, the legendary Sahrawi war poetess.   With her hauntingly beautiful voice, Aziza is now considered one of the most talented musical voices in Western Sahara.  Aziza was born and brought up in the Saharawi refugee camps in south-west Algeria, but the reality of this existence brought her to exile to study in Cuba and she now resides in Barcelona.  Rooted in the Saharawi and Hassania vocal tradition, Aziza blends Saharan traditional music (she plays the tabal, a traditional hand drum) with blues, folk and Spanish rhythms to create a distinctive style all her own.

Episode 3 – 26th September     Tumi (South Africa/Mozambique)

The UK’s Guardian newspaper described Tumi Molekane recently as, “one of the most consummate performers South African hip-hop has flawless timing, unrelenting breath control, commanding presence and a warm magnetic charm wrapped around his complexly layered lyrics.”

He has recently parted ways with his former group The Volume, but for this BBC recording he is re-united with Mozambican guitarist Tiago Correia-Paulo.

Episode 4 – 3rd October                  Songhoy Blues (Mali)

The members of desert blues band, Songhoy Blues fled their home town of Diré, upstream from Timbuktu after the Islamist take over made it dangerous for them to continue to make music.

Talking to the BBC about the plight of the north of Mali was extremely emotional for lead vocalist Aliou Touré, but he was determined to tell the world how much he rejects a version of Islam that criminalises musicians.

Now based in Bamako, which is where they came together in their current line-up, Songhoy Blues were taken up by Damon Albarn during his Africa Express visit to Mali and feature on the resulting Maison des Jeunes album.

Episode 5 – 10th October              Omawumi   (Nigeria)

Omawumi Megbele is a Nigerian singer-songwriter who gained attention as the 2007 runner-up on the reality TV show West Africa Idols and has subsequently won multiple awards in Nigeria.

Her debut single “In the Music” was a hit, and she has since released two albums, Wonder Woman and The Lasso of Truth.

Episode 6 – 17th October              The Good Ones (Rwanda)

When life began to return to something resembling normality after the genocide, lead singer and songwriter Adrien Kazigira decided it was time to form a group again. So he went looking for “the good ones”, the talented musicians he used to know. The three others he now plays with are a subsistence farmer like him, a driver and a teacher.

With just a guitar, some unusual percussion and harmonizing voices, they create a compelling sound which is traditional and yet fresh.  ‘Eudia’ which they perform for Africa Beats, is a love song written by Adrien for his wife after her death.

They were discovered in 2009 by Ian Brennan, a Grammy award winning American producer, who recorded the twelve tracks of the band’s first album, Kigali Y’ Izahabu over the course of one summer evening on the back porch of a friend’s home.  In July 2014 they left Rwanda for the first time and performed to enthusiastic crowds at the UK’s Womad festival.

Episode 7 – 24th October              Lala Njava (Madagascar)

Lala Njava released her first solo album, Malagasy Blues Song in 2013. She comes from a musical family of fifteen children and from an early age performed with her brothers and sisters. It quickly became clear that she was the lead singer, with a deep and distinctive voice.

For Africa Beats, she performs with brothers Maximin, Pata and Dozzy. The sound they make is grounded in Malagasy tradition but also highly original, with a Western rhythm section and strong trance, blues and afrobeats elements. Lala and her three brothers now live in Brussels, but they are still highly concerned by the issues their native land faces, and Lala is donating a portion of the revenues from her CD sales to a tree planting project.

Episode 8 – 31st October                Villy (Nigeria)

Villy – Oliseh John Odili – is a Nigerian Afro-fusion singer and songwriter. He sings in Igbo, Yoruba, Pidgin and English. He plays with his band, the Xtreme Volumes and splits his time between Lagos and Accra.  He is a highly energetic performer and highly opinionated. His lyrics are politically engaged and rousing.  He describes his music as limitless – a free expression that breaks form and expectation.

Inspired by a variety of artists, his sound reflects rock, soul, hip hop, jazz and African influences. Villy is bucking the digital trend by concentrating on offering strong live performances based on good old fashioned musicianship.


Begins 28thOctober

African Dream

This eight part series of shorts on BBC World News and at

From 28th October, showcases inspirational stories from the African continent, where entrepreneurs share their ups and their downs and the secrets of their success.


African Footballer of the Year

On 10th November the nominees for the 2014 BBC African Footballer of the year, selected by leading African sports journalists, will be announced. Audiences can vote for their favourite online at  or via SMS on their mobile phone.

Ongoing programming

Focus on Africa

Monday – Friday at 17.30 GMT

Africa Business Report

Fridays at 18.40 GMT

Saturdays at 10.10 GMT

Sundays at 20.10 GMT