Tuesday, 01 December 2020

People from across Sudan are invited to submit questions for the debate 

This December, the BBC World Service and the British Council will host a radio debate with leading Sudanese politicians and opinion formers who will answer questions put forward by members of the public. 

‘BBC World Questions’ will see a panel of leading figures discuss the country’s future and tackle the issues that matter most to people in Sudan. The debate will air on BBC World Service English, which has a weekly reach of 97million people. 

After a revolution, a massacre and the fall of a long-standing authoritarian government, Sudan is officially on the road to democracy. The US has promised to take the country off its terrorism blacklist, and it recently started to normalise relations with countries around the world. But is the movement to civilian rule fast enough? How will the country be affected by the Great Nile Dam being built up-river by its Ethiopian neighbours? And will a new acceptance as a modern nation mean that the extreme economic hardships felt by Sudanese people will finally be brought to an end?

Hosted by the BBC’s James Copnall, the debate panel will include:  

• Walaa Issam al-Boushi - Minister for Sport and Youth

• Omer Ismael – Acting Foreign Minister, Sudan

• Reem Abbas – Journalist and Blogger

• Mohammed Nagi al Assam – Former Spokesperson, Sudanese Professionals Association 

What are the most important issues facing Sudan?  People from across Sudan and the world can submit possible questions for the debate via the following link: https://www.britishcouncil.org/work/partner/bbc-world-questions/your-questions 

Stephen Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English said: “It is a privilege to make a programme about Sudan with the people of Sudan at this time of major change as they reconstruct their country. This is an exciting panel of voices, answering the questions the people of Sudan want to ask, and who need to be heard around the world.”  

Robin Davies, Country Director for Sudan, British Council said: “I have been in Sudan since 2016 and seen this remarkable transformation. Like the flow of the Nile itself, the direction is set, but we see changes in pace, rise and fall - and the pace can be very quick, become a flood, or sometimes flow calmly. It will be fascinating to hear what the people of Sudan wish to discuss.” 

BBC World Questions: Sudan is an English language event created in partnership with the British Council and will be recorded for radio broadcast worldwide. It will air on BBC World Service on Saturday 12th December at 2100 Khartoum time, and again on Sunday 13th December at 1400 Khartoum time and available online at www.bbcworldservice.com at 19 GMT on Saturday 12th December. 

Notes to Editor

For queries about BBC World Questions and the BBC World Service, please contact: suzie.schilling@bbc.co.uk 

For any queries about the British Council, please contact: hayley.willis@britishcouncil.org

About BBC World Questions 

BBC World Questions is the BBC World Service’s flagship political debate programme created in partnership with the British Council.  It usually visits a different city around the world each month to record a debate in front of a public audience who are able to put their questions directly to a panel of politicians and opinion formers.  As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the debates are currently being recorded remotely.  

About BBC World Service 

BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 41 other language services, on radio, TV and digital.  BBC World Service reaches a weekly audience of 351m. As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences.  BBC News attracts a weekly global audience of 438m people to its international services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and bbc.com/news.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org