Two teams from Lagos have today been selected to pilot a unique digital idea they have developed to help the BBC reach young African audiences. 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.
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.
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.
The BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor and judging panellist, 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, 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.”
BBC Africa continues to bring news in inventive ways for young audiences through the online edition of the bbc.com website and the Africa live page on the BBC News website. Both of these have provided African internet users on the continent and in diaspora communities with dedicated digital spaces where they can find more African news stories and features. In addition, the BBC continues to serve Africa’s massive online audience via many social media outlets and mobile platforms, creating clickable and shareable content delivered by the BBC’s reporters across Africa.Follow BBC Africa on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Soundcloud and YouTube.