Deputy President William Ruto has hailed the British Broadcasting Corporation for launching its regional headquarters in Nairobi.
He said the investment will see more Kenyans employed by the institution in addition to offering training opportunities to Kenyan and regional journalists.
“I commend the BBC for setting up and tremendously modernizing its regional headquarters in Nairobi,” Mr. Ruto said during the launch in a Nairobi Hotel.
He later visited the studios located on Riverside Drive.
BBC News Director Francesca Unsworth, Director World Service Group, Jamie Angus and Regional Editor BBC Africa Solomon Mugera accompanied him. Also present was National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.
“We do not take your choice of Nairobi for granted, nor do we ignore the fact that you have employed hundreds of people and developed immense professional capacities in many more, all to the benefit of our community.”
Mr Ruto said the BBC is among more than hundred British companies doing business in Kenya, thereby ensuring that the UK remains by far the largest investor in the country.
He said the East African BBC Bureau is a validation of Kenya’s capacity to deliver as an operational anchor for the East African Region.
“This multi-million-pound investment is a positive indictment on our investor friendliness and ability to deliver the infrastructure and services required by global corporations,” he added.
He said the BBC bureau is not just a financial outlay; it is an investment in the journalistic capacity of Kenya and East Africa.
Mr Ruto noted that improving Kenya’s investor readiness and business friendliness has been a priority of the Government.
“We have and will continue to spare no effort to ensure our country generates the maximum investment possible,” said the Deputy President.
The regional hub is the biggest after the UK head office of the BBC and is equipped with the latest technology.
“I am pleased to note that the facility we open today is the BBC’s largest hub outside the UK, with capacity to serve diverse audiences over a far flung constituency with information, education and entertainment of the highest quality through multiple platforms,” he added.
Mr Ruto said BBC has helped the world to not only see Africa more positively, but also opened its mind to the possibility of different stories from Africa.
“These are stories that have been waiting hundreds of years to be told. I am delighted that the BBC has launched this bigger, more modern hub in preparation for a more scrupulous, compassionate and diverse story of Africa,” said Mr Ruto.
At the same time, Mr Ruto said the Government will continue to guarantee the freedom of the media as enshrined in its Constitution.
He said the country believes in a vibrant and free media, adding that to be truly free, media must be truthful.
“Repression of the media is as bad as fake news. Our society has never asked any more of the media than that it’s stories be fair and true,” said Mr Ruto.
He asked journalists to be objective and balanced while carrying out their responsibilities, saying responsible journalism was the only kind that serves society better.