In a bid to cut spending, the BBC World Service, on Wednesday, announced it will cease broadcasting Great Lakes service for Rwanda and Burundi in the Short Wave (SW) frequency.
This means that beginning in March, listeners outside the Great Lakes region will not able capture BBC Gahuzamiryango news program as the British broadcaster considers closing most of it foreign language news programmes.
For many years, the BBC has been airing the one-hour Kinyarwanda/Kirundi program in two 30-minute segments on week-days. Also broadcasted on the SW frequency was the one-hour Imvo n’imvano current affairs programme which airs on Saturdays.
Though in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and DR Congo, the popular programs airs on the FM frequency, they have been airing on the SW frequency outside this region, in addition to online streaming.
Beginning March, the SW frequency will close as a result of cutbacks in British government funding for the BBC.
Listeners who mainly live in Europe, the Americas and other continents, will only be able to follow the programming online.
BBC World Service said it was carrying out a fundamental restructuring in order to meet the 16 per cent savings target required by the Government’s Spending Review of October 20, last year.
“We are making cuts in services that we would rather not be making. But the scale of the cut in BBC World Service’s Grant-in-Aid funding is such that we couldn’t cope with this by efficiencies alone,” said BBC Global News Director, Peter Horrocks, in an official release.
“What won’t change is the BBC’s aim to continue to be the world’s best known and most trusted provider of high quality impartial and editorially independent international news. We will continue to bring the BBC’s expertise, perspectives and content to the largest worldwide audience, which will reflect well on Britain and its people,” Horrocks said.
The development came after the argument that SW is no longer listened too as most people have turned to FM.