Its most recent move is the dispatch of three news sites in the Ethiopia and Eritrea. The administrations will convey news in Amharic, Ethiopia’s legitimate dialect, Afaan Oromo, the dialect of Ethiopia’s greatest ethnic gathering, and Tigrinya, the fundamental working dialect of Eritrea.
The BBC plans to fill the void of autonomous media in a district where government is regularly accused of blue penciling the news. Will Ross, BBC’s lead for the new dialect administrations, says they will be a “source of truth.”
BBC also plans to launch radio shows in the three languages, catering the audiences without internet access. Ethiopia and Eritrea have a combined population that tops 100 million.
Across Africa, while English has always been a commonly spoken language, many local dialects also just as prominent and are spoken across various social class divides.
BBC’s expansion comes after a £289 million ($372 million) boost by the UK government last year. Alongside the three language services in the Horn of Africa, the service plans to launch a total of 12 new language service across Africa and Asia.
One of those, BBC Pidgin, has already been launched in Nigeria to serve West Africans who are familiar with the language which is made up mostly of street slang. BBC also plans to launch services in Igbo and Yoruba, two of Nigeria’s main languages, in addition to its BBC Hausa service which was launched in 1957.