The BBC World Service has appointed Rachael Akidi Okwir as the head of language services for East Africa. The appointment is part of the BBC World Service’s continuing expansion in Africa.
Rachael Akidi Okwir, Head of East Africa Languages, is based in Nairobi, Kenya and oversees services in Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Swahili and Tigrinya.
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 bbcafrica.com
In recognition of her leadership qualities and potential, Rachael was selected for the inaugural BBC News Leadership Programme. Born in Uganda her career in journalism started as a freelance contributor to Ugandan newspapers and radio stations whilst a student at Makerere University.
Rachael says: “I am deeply honoured to be leading the BBC’s expansion and digital transformation in the East and Horn of Africa. The media landscape in the region is rapidly evolving. It is a vibrant, challenging and competitive market, but with massive potential and opportunities. I am excited to be part of the team that will be at the forefront of this transformation.”
Rachael was appointed along with Toyosi Ogunseye who will head West Africa languages; Afrique, Hausa, Igbo, Pidgin & Yoruba for the BBC.
Solomon Mugera Regional Editor for BBC Africa says: “Rachael and Toyosi are talented journalists, each with an impressive track record of strong editorial focus and inspiring leadership. They are passionate about original journalism and finding creative ways of engaging with the audience.”