BBC Launches Pidgin Service

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, Premium Times reports

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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