Connected Studio for World Service Africa, Lagos


“We want to invest in World Service. We want to invest in new or extended digital and mobile offers in India & Nigeria” - BBC Charter Proposal

In search of that objective, Basile and Tamsin flew to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, for a BBC World Service and Connected Studio event. Lagos is host to an extremely vibrant tech community, of which CCHub is one of the centers of gravity.

Previous instances of this collaboration between News Labs, Connected Studio, and World Service looked at mobile in Nairobi and audio content distribution in Cape Town. Those events were run as a development studio or hack, during which people from the local communities and tech scene were asked to work their way through the challenge over the course of a couple of days.

This time around, the team put together a different sort of event to outline the challenge and explain more about what the BBC wanted to help achieve. We partnered with CCHub to run a rather dense presentation in their co-working space.

Basile and Tamsin were asked to give an overview of the kind of tech and content we can make available to the teams (you can find all the APIs and content stores they mentioned on the event page). Among the 150 who attended the event in person were startup founders, fintech experts from the US, curious technologists, and lots of social entrepreneurs. Many stayed for some nibbles after the presentation, curious to ask us about what we do for the BBC and how the BBC fosters its innovation effort.

Anybody interested could attend the event or follow it live online. Both the new format and the live stream were deemed crucial in engaging more communities and tapping into the knowledge of those who couldn’t come in person for two days. A Q&A with tough questions about our involvement in Africa and our intentions was the occasion to stress our will to create partnerships with those who know Africa, Nigeria, and their communities much better than us.

If an idea suddenly popped into your head and you might just want to build it with your colleagues, you have two weeks (until February 15) to pitch a 2-page submission.

Eight submissions will be shortlisted and their authors will be paid to write a detailed proposal. Out of these, we will select and commission the building of a pilot.

As it was a working trip, we didn’t have to see the sights or to do any tourism - so we’re afraid we will have to go back at our own expense to report on the deliciously spicy food, jollof rice and on the incredible businesses everywhere you look in this massive city at the heart of west African innovation.

Find out all about the event, the submission pack and all the relevant details on the Connected Studio briefing page