CNN is establishing a multi-platform operation in Lagos, Nigeria. The operation is designed to increase news coverage of Africa and give the network a strong digital presence on the continent. Let get right into the process.

Apparently, CNN has some serious intentions to get African millennials. It is focusing its efforts on most populous country – Nigeria that also has the youngest population out of all African countries. So now, CNN International is setting up its first digital bureau in Lagos, largest city in Nigeria.


Who Is The Head of Nigeria CNN Office ?

The main role in this operation has native Nigerian and millennial influencer Stephanie Busari, who takes on the role of Supervising Producer, Africa. Stephanie will work across CNN’s newsgathering and digital operations, and will be the network’s first responder for all platforms.

Deborah Rayner, SVP, Newsgathering at CNN International

Deborah Rayner, SVP, Newsgathering at CNN International said a few words about Busari’s role in this project: “This is a truly integrated role, and one that underlines CNN’s commitment to both Nigeria and Africa as a whole.  Stephanie will work across our platforms on both news and feature content.  In particular, she will head CNN’s Africa content across digital – responding to breaking news and managing our Africa features projects.  She will also be central to CNN International’s coverage of the continent on television.”

Stephanie herself is really flattered and proud to have a leading role in developing media in Nigeria: “To return to Nigeria at such an important time in the country’s history is a proud and exciting moment for me,” Busari said. “This is such a vibrant country, full of possibilities, and as well as my broader remit looking at Africa as a whole this role will be about putting the many sides of Nigeria itself into sharper relief for the world.”


What Is The Project All About?

Busari thinks that for this project now the most important goal is to tell true stories of real people who live in Africa and often have many life-struggles. She wants all these stories to have global resonance: “The stories need to be universal because the larger part of the narrative about Africa tends to be negative, and countries like Nigeria do have their problems, but it has young, dynamic population, and they have the same ambitions and interests as people all around the world,” said Busari.

Besides that she knows how to reach the audience, especially millennials, how to attract their attention to important global events. Busari says: “I am bringing with me a decade’s experience working in the digital media space, and I know that people are consuming news and media content on whatever device is handy for them. CNN’s approach is what we in the industry call, ‘platform agnostic’. We want to be able to reach the audience whether they are sitting in front of the television or browsing on their smartphone on their commute or at their desktops at work.”

So, speaking about social media, CNN has already dropped its three separate Africa Facebook pages — created for three of their TV shows: “Inside Africa,” “African Voices” and “Marketplace Africa” — to create one Africa Facebook page. Within a few weeks, the new page has pulled in 250,000 followers, 10,000 joining in the last week.


#BringBackOurGirls Story


Now world’s attention is focused in the story of 276 Nigerian school girls that were kidnapped from their homes in 2014. This heartbreaking news was discussed globally with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls. The incident was brought up lately again because Busari and fellow CNN reporter Nima Elbagir obtained a proof-life video of stolen girls. The video was sent to negotiators by their captors. The video had been seen by negotiators and some members of the government, but only recently girls’ parents could see their daughters. The story got a massive international response, so Busari and Elbagir filmed a video where they answer the question on their exclusive reporting on the Chibok girls.


Adapting latest trends

So as we see Stephanie uses social media to make millennials think about tragic and serious situations and events in other countries like Nigeria. But also, Busari knows how to use latest trends like Pokemon Go. Facebook Live has also become a tool Busari develops more from Nigeria. Pokemon Go fever has also gripped Nigeria, so Busari followed a couple of people playing the game around Lagos and streamed it via Facebook Live. It didn’t help to promote the video much, however, as network issues hampered the filming, which could be a barrier to becoming a prolific Facebook Live user.


Mark Zuckerberg Inspires Millennial Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Mark Zuckerberg Inspires Millennial Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Just September 1, Busari posted a news that Mark Zuckerberg made a visit Nigeria’s Silicon Valley, local innovation center and tech hub in Yaba. Zuckerberg was quite excited about meeting young Nigerian developers: “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.”  Zuckerberg’s visit also means a lot to millennial entrepreneurs in Negeria. Setting up a business in the country has always been tough for young entrepreneurs such as Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe, who co-founded the hub Zuckerberg visited in 2011. Successful startups in Nigeria must survive the odds of weak infrastructure, anemic power supply and general lack of funding and investment. “By coming here first, he’s given a lot of hope to young people here,” Tijani said.

in time, Busari’s plan is to keep up with media trends to hold on their young audience. “We’re fortunate with Instagram, because we have five major prime-time programs that focus on Africa, and they look at arts and culture, business and tech,” she said. “So the strategy is to ask our TV producers, to send images of the amazing things they’re seeing. I took a video in Lagos of the biggest prawns I’ve ever seen at a fish market, and the image got 4,000 views.”

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