BBC World Service appoints new leaders for East and West African Languages

The BBC World Service has been appointed Toyosi Ogunseye, head of West Africa Languages to manage mainly Nigerian languages that include Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Pidgin and Afrique.


Also appointed is Rachel Akidi Okwir as head of language services for East Africa to oversee services in Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Swahili and Tigrinya.

The appointments are part of the BBC World Service’s continuing expansion in Africa.


Rachel is to be based in Nairobi, Kenya while Toyosi will be stationed in Lagos and will be starting in January 2018.

Rachael was the Editor of the flagship radio programme Focus on Africa. She joined the BBC World Service as a producer in 2002 and has worked across various platforms and programmes including Network Africa, The World Today, Focus on Africa TV and the website Born in Uganda, her career in journalism started as a freelance contributor to Ugandan newspapers and radio stations whilst a student at Makerere University. 

Toyosi was the Editor of the Sunday Punch.  She was the first female editor in the 45 year history of the company.  An award-winning journalist with a passion for investigative reporting, she has won over 30 awards and was the first Nigerian to win the prestigious Knight International Journalism award.

Toyosi is a fellow of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative and currently sits on the board of the World Editors Forum.  She holds an MSc in Media and Communication and is currently studying for a PhD in Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester. (BBC)


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