BBC Somali Service to move operations to Nairobi from London

The BBC has announced its Somali service will move out of Broadcasting House, the corporation’s headquarters in London, to a new studio in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Sixty years after the first BBC Somali Service bulletin was broadcast from London, the Service said it is now moving its entire operations to Nairobi, which hosts the company’s largest bureau outside of the UK.

“From 18 February in 2019, all BBC Somali Service programmes will be broadcast from Nairobi,” it said.

The Nairobi bureau is home to about 300 BBC journalists working across Africa.

It has a TV studio and two live broadcast positions, two radio studios, two radio workspaces and five TV edit suites.

The BBC World Service opened its Nairobi bureau in 1998. It now broadcasts in a total of 12 African languages and English.

The other Nairobi-based African language services are Swahili, Afaan Oromo, Amharic and Tigrinya.

The BBC Somali Service was set up in 1957 with two weekly broadcasts of 15 minutes each. By September 1958 the 15 minutes programmes were made daily. Currently, the radio broadcasts four programmes a day.