BBC launches services for Ethiopia as well as also Eritrea

BBC journalists looking at the brand-new website

Image caption

The brand-new sites have already generated a lot of interest

The BBC World Service has launched three websites for Ethiopia as well as also neighbouring Eritrea as part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s.

The sites might be a “source of truth” in a region with limited independent media, said BBC editor Will Ross.

The Amharic, Afaan Oromo as well as also Tigrinya sites’ launch will be followed in a few months by the launch of radio programmes from the three languages.

The UK government announced a funding boost for the earth Service in 2015.

the item paved the way for the expansion drive in Africa as well as also Asia.

“We know of which there will be a great deal of hunger for audiences in Ethiopia as well as also Eritrea to access a broad range of high quality content in Amharic, Afaan Oromo as well as also Tigrinya,” said Ross, head of the brand-new services.

Eritrea won independence through Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year war.

Tensions with Ethiopia remain high across a closed as well as also heavily fortified border.

An estimated 80,000 people died during a 1998-2000 border war between the two states.

Ross said he believed of which the potential audience from the two countries – which have a combined population of more than 100 million – was huge, as well as also social media might play a key role in helping to target a younger audience.

“There will be also a significant diaspora, which retains strong links with ‘home’. The political situation in both countries has triggered the development of a large vocal, activist presence from the diaspora,” he said.

“The current news choice for many in Ethiopia will be either a pro-government platform at home or a vehemently anti-government offer through the diaspora.”

The brand-new Facebook pages from the three languages have already generated a lot of interest. The Afaan Oromo site had more than 30,000 likes after just three days.

However, internet penetration will be currently very low in both states, as well as also the planned launch of radio programmes might be a vital part of the BBC’s “rich mix of content” for Ethiopians as well as also Eritreans, Ross said.

“A major aim of the output will be to help Ethiopians as well as also Eritreans better understand their place from the earth. The brand-new language services will also provide the BBC’s global audience having a far better perspective as well as also understanding of the Horn of Africa,” he added.

African languages:

  • Afaan Oromo: Language of Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group
  • Amharic: Ethiopia’s official language
  • Tigrinya: The main working language of Eritrea, along with Arabic. Also spoken in Ethiopia
  • Igbo: An official Nigerian language. Also spoken in Equatorial Guinea
  • Yoruba: Spoken in south-western Nigeria as well as also some different parts of West Africa, especially Benin as well as also Togo
  • Pidgin: A creole edition of English widely spoken in southern Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon as well as also Equatorial Guinea

Pidgin – West African lingua franca

Asian languages:

  • Gujarati: Native to the Indian state of Gujarat nevertheless found around the Indian subcontinent as well as also the earth
  • Marathi: through the Indian state of Maharashtra, including India’s commercial capital Mumbai
  • Telugu: Huge numbers of speakers, like many Indian languages, primarily in Andhra Pradesh as well as also Telangana
  • Punjabi: One of the earth’s most populous languages, the item will be widely-spoken in Pakistan as well as also parts of India
  • Korean: Spoken in North as well as also South though the dialects have diverged. Pop culture slang as well as also foreign loan words are notably more common from the South

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