The BBC, as part of its Connected Studio and World Service 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 collaborations form part of the BBC’s objective of increasing its global reach to 500 million by 2020. Previously launched briefs in Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa have successfully seen two pilots developed.
Earlier in January, a live streamed briefing session in partnership with Co-Creation Hub was held within the tech community of Lagos. The brief hovered around the need to reach the growing mobile audiences in Nigeria with an innovative digital idea, and also featuring a special workshop with digital experts to further help potential entrants.
Submitted ideas were then scored and shortlisted by a judging panel, and 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.
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.
The BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor and judging panelist, Dmitry Shishkin, says: “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. 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, the BBC is keen to be an integral part of this exciting journey”.
From Team Codulab: “We're really excited about this opportunity to build a pilot product for the BBC. We've always looked out for such opportunities to explore new territories, and we believe this project is one of those. For us, it's a step to a whole new level of awesomeness to be able to contribute to a solution that would be used by a lot of people. This means a lot to us at Codulab. We want to thank the BBC team for selecting us on this project.”
From Team Timerail: “We are excited and feel greatly opportuned to work with the BBC to develop this pilot. We look forward to building a solution that would offer value, and attain the goals that this challenge was set to achieve. More importantly, we hope to deliver an experience that gives a new perspective on how news content is consumed, and make user journeys more fun and engaging."