Focus on Africa, the BBC World News weekday news and current affairs show for Africa, celebrates five years of broadcasting this week.
Presented by some of the most recognised names in African journalism, including Sophie Ikenye, Peter Okwoche, Lebo Diseko, Nancy Kacungira and our late and beloved colleague Komla Dumor, Focus on Africa has brought global audiences the biggest news stories from the continent over the past five years.
From the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, from the death of Nelson Mandela to showcasing the freshest artists and personalities across the continent, since 2012 our African journalists have brought – and continue to bring – insight and expertise to audiences, transforming reporting on Africa.
Aside from breaking news, Focus on Africa has broadcast agenda-setting interviews with political and civil change-makers alongside insightful analysis from across the continent. Some of the show’s news-making moments include Komla Dumor’s coverage of Ghana’s qualification for the football World Cup in 2013 and his interview with Bill Clinton about Obama’s legacy in Africa, Peter Okwoche’s interview with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressing corruption in his government; and Sophie Ikenye’s Farming is Cool series, which discovered how and why the youth of Africa are giving up lucrative city jobs to return to farming in their homelands.
Through special series like What’s Up Africa, presented by award-nominated comedian Ikenna Azuike, Women of Africa, African Women You Need To Know, African Dream and Africa Beats Focus on Africa has tackled previously taboo topics and introduced audiences to change-makers – most of them young and female – who are driving the future of Africa. It’s been our privilege to share their inspiring stories with the rest of the world.
Vera Kwakofi, Editor of Focus on Africa said: “Focus on Africa has transformed the way in which news is reported from Africa. We have brilliant journalists across the continent, such as Anne Soy, Catherine Byaruhanga, Laeila Adjovi, Tomi Oladipo, Sammy Awami, Rana Jawad and Nomsa Maseko, who have drawn in audiences from across the world by making sense of African stories. It’s been our privilege to share their inspiring stories with the rest of the world.”
“Since Focus on Africa launched five years ago, it’s been our aim to put our audience first – delivering impartial, insightful and relevant news, wherever they are. We make sure they are across the latest breaking news from the continent, understand what policies mean for their everyday lives and, through our journalism, witness the breadth of Africa’s vibrancy, diversity and achievements. We are looking forward to delivering and sharing even more impactful journalism for the future.”
Earlier this year, Focus on Africa took the show on the road for the first time in its history, broadcasting from Kampala for a week of live shows featuring some of the best in current affairs, sports and entertainment across the region.
Focus on Africa airs on BBC World News (DStv 400) every weekday at 1730 GMT.