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The BBC has launched its first ever TV news and current affairs programme in Kiswahili, Dira ya Dunia (World Compass).

Starting this week, BBC World Service’s partner TV stations - Star TV in Tanzania and QTV in Kenya – will broadcast BBC Swahili’s Dira ya Dunia, a 30-minute global news and analysis programme.

Dira ya Dunia will supplement Star TV’s and QTV’s programming with news coverage underpinned by the BBC’s global news services and will draw on the BBC’s strong presence across the continent, with correspondents in 48 African countries.

BBC Swahili’s flagship radio programme, Dira ya Dunia, is already well known in East and Central Africa.

BBC Swahili editor, Ali Saleh, said: “With the launch of Dira ya Dunia on TV, we are responding to the huge switch in news consumption across Africa we have been witnessing lately, and to the needs of our audience. As we report and analyse regional and global news stories, be it politics, economy, business or culture, Dira ya Dunia wants to be free of clichés often associated with the African news coverage and will deliver BBC journalism in a dynamic and engaging style, based on our long-standing principles of independence, accuracy and unbiased reporting.”

The main presenter of Dira ya Dunia, Salim Kikeke, added: “I feel privileged and honoured to be part of BBC Swahili’s move to TV broadcasting. We’ve put a huge effort into this project, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I hope very much that this new TV programme will soon become essential viewing for audiences across East and Central Africa.”

BBC Dira ya Dunia will be broadcast Monday to Friday, at 21.00 local time on Star TV in Tanzania and at 23.00 on QTV in Kenya. It also will be available for viewing via the BBC Swahili website, bbcswahili.com.

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