Kenyan tech innovators chosen for BBC digital pilot 23 February 2015 Africa Two groups of Kenyan tech innovators have been selected to help the BBC reach young African audiences through social and digital platforms.

Two groups of Kenyan tech
innovators have been selected
to help the BBC reach young
African audiences through
social and digital platforms.
The young digital specialists
from Go Sheng Services and
Ongair were chosen from 13
teams from across Africa and
the US.
They had all participated at a BBC
“hackathon” event held in
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, earlier
this month.
They will be funded to pilot and
user test prototypes over six
months.
‘Excited’
“I am delighted that the first
Africa-based BBC Connected
Studio event, aimed at driving
innovation using local expertise
and knowledge, has produced
such a high level of creative
ideas,” said Dmitry Shishkin, BBC
World Service Group digital
development editor and judging
panellist.
The two teams selected had put
the user at the centre of their
propositions and had impressed
the judges with the
distinctiveness of their
proposals, he said.
Go Sheng Services, which is an
organisation that seeks to
preserve Kenya’s Sheng
language and culture, came up
with the concept of using local
languages as a means of
connecting with younger
audiences.
“It has been a life dream to work
with an organisation like the
BBC, and I am so pleased that
the team’s hard work has paid
off,” said Go Sheng team
manager Euticus Mola, 24.
Ongair’s idea is to engage with
younger African audiences in a
way that recognises their needs
and interests.
The company has used instant
messaging platforms to reach
customers and audiences in the
past.
“We’re really surprised and
excited to go through to the
next stage,” said Trevor Kimenye,
30, the Ongair team leader.
During the two-day BBC
hackathon, teams presented
ideas on how to use
technologies to enable users to
access content at low cost and
identified ways to ensure faster
interaction with audiences.
More than half of African
browsers currently come to
BBC.com using their mobile
devices – a proportion that is
expected to grow in the future.

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