Journalists gather during the BBC Nairobi bureau launch on November 5.

The British Broadcasting Corporation officially launched the East African Bureau in Nairobi on Monday November 5 at a colourful event at Mövenpick Hotel and Residences, Westlands Nairobi.

BBC’s East African bureau is the largest outside the United Kingdom (UK) and will also double up as the African headquarters with 300 out of 600 of BBC Africa’s staff working in Nairobi.The bureau will also be home to the first BBC show to broadcast daily from Africa.

According to the broadcaster, the Ksh 38.2 billion expansion is being funded by the UK government.

The glitzy event was attended by Deputy President William Ruto and UK High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey. The UK ambassador termed the investment as a sign of investors’ great confidence in Kenya.

Royal Media Services (RMS) Director of Strategy and Innovations Linus Kaikai also attended the pompous event.

During the launch, various programmes that the broadcaster airs or has licensed to free to air broadcasters were officially unveiled including investigative segment Africa Eye and Sport Africa which air on BBC and KTN News as well as Smart Money and The She Word which air on BBC and NTV.

Health Magazine Life Clinic, Fact Checking Show Fact Finder, Gist Nigeria, Money Daily and Talk it Out were also launched.

BBC News Director, Francesca Unsworth said that the launch of the studios mark another significant investment by the BBC in the future of African journalism.

“Earlier this year we opened another major hub in Lagos (Nigeria), we launched six new language services across the continent and expanded our francophone services. Our commitment to Africa is clear and our most important investment will be in training the next generation of African reporters and producers to world-class standards.” said Ms. Unsworth.

DP Ruto thanked the BBC for choosing Kenya as its regional headquarters.

“The East African BBC Bureau is a validation of Kenya’s capacity to deliver as an operational anchor for the region. This is a positive indictment on our investor friendliness and ability to deliver the infrastructure required by global corporations,” said DP Ruto.


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