August 4, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
With a view to providing accurate regular sports and news updates for their customers in the country, one of the leading telecommunication companies in Sierra Leone, Africell, through African Independent Radio, yesterday signed a partnership agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum at Africell head office, Wilberforce, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura, informed journalists that according to the partnership agreement, the BBC would be providing regular sports and news updates for their subscribers via an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service.
He said the BBC would also be providing programme content for African Independent Radio that will include, for the first time in Sierra Leone, a BBC minute – a fast moving bulletin for young listeners.
He said the IVR would be new to Sierra Leone and that the main objective was the provision of a first-hand sport and news on demand on the Africell network.
He continued that the key advantage of the service was that customers would access updates through their handsets by only dialing 313.
“The launch of the partnership represents another milestone in AI Radio’s drive to be the premier providers of reliable, objective and cutting edge sport news and entertainment,” Bangura said.
He added that Africell and AI Radio viewed the partnership as a natural one because both entities share a similar vision of improving the quality of life of all their listeners through the provision of information that empowers, enlightens and enriches their listening experience.
Marina Forsythe, who is the BBC’s Business Development Associate for sub-Sahara Africa, said her organisation was honoured to have Africell and AI Radio join their wide network of partners across Africa.
She said the new agreement with Africell meant subscribers would now have access to on- demand news and sports update.
“As the world’s leading independent broadcaster, our sole purpose is to serve the interests of the audience in Sierra Leone, who always tell us that the BBC is the most trusted source of news. Recent research showed that 2.5 million people in Sierra Leone consume BBC content every week,” she revealed.
She added that the BBC was committed to broadcasting to and from Africa, bringing news and insights from Africa to audiences around the globe.