BBC teams up with Nigerian innovators to broaden African appeal

The BBC, as part of its Connected Studio initiative, has announced collaborations with two teams of Nigerian innovators as it looks to increase the number of young Africans engaging with its content.

The teams: Codulab, a small company based in Lagos, and a collaborative team of Nigerian innovators (Team Timerail), have been chosen for the next stage of the digital innovation programme from BBC Connected Studio and the BBC World Service.

In January this year, a briefing session for 100 people within the tech community of Lagos was held in partnership with the Co-Creation Hub and was streamed live online. The brief for teams was to reach the growing mobile audiences in Nigeria with an innovative digital idea and special workshops with digital experts were held to further help potential entrants. Submitted ideas were then scored and shortlisted by a judging panel, these shortlisted teams were asked to submit a further detailed plan and undergo a Q&A session with BBC experts. Following this period, the judges then selected two of the four shortlisted ideas to be taken forward and built into pilots throughout the year.

This is the third African country the esteemed broadcaster has run the initiative in, following previous efforts in Nairobi and Cape Town.

“It has been great to collaborate with technical innovators in Nigeria – one of World Service’s most important markets. Having done hackathons in Kenya and South Africa in 2015 it was only natural for us to come to Nigeria, too,” says BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor and judging panellist, Dmitry Shishkin. “This time we made extra effort to help with feedback and briefing for the event and were delighted by the great number of interesting submissions we received. Given the revolutionary changes mobile technology is bringing to Africa, BBC is keen to be an integral part of this exciting journey”.

Further details on the pilots will be announced later this year. They will include innovation surrounding chat bots and connecting to audiences through instant messaging as well as structured journalism and connected storytelling.



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