Susie Kitchens explores the River Nile in BBC virtual reality app launch in Nairobi

Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Susie Kitchens, has been experiencing a virtual reality (VR) tour of the River Nile in the 360° BBC video documentary ‘Damming the Nile’ at the launch of an immersive new app.

Speaking at the launch, Ms Kitchens said: “We’re excited to see UK-Kenyan partnerships grow. Today’s event brings together Kenya’s techie talent with the innovative tradition of the BBC, telling important stories from across Africa in a modern and compelling way.”

The BBC’s Nairobi bureau partnered with Kenyan tech firm Black Rhino for an immersive experience enjoyed by an audience of Kenyan tech and communications experts, and diplomats.

Susie also reiterated the UK Government’s long-standing commitment to working with Kenya to support innovation and entrepreneurship, from seed funding innovative companies like MPESA and MKOPA, to supporting British businesses who want to trade with and invest in Kenya.

She reflected on how the BBC shares this commitment; from pushing the boundaries on telling the news in innovative and compelling ways, to opening a new bureau in Nairobi next year, employing 250 staff – an impressive manifestation of the BBC’s commitment to Kenya and the region.

Along with a video of herself wearing the VR headset Ms Kitchens Tweeted: “VR innovation from BBC in Africa brings this complex story of development, natural resources, power, politics and foreign relations to ‘life’. The future of news reporting?”

In the film, BBC’s Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead and his team, travel from the Blue Nile’s source to the sea, through Ethiopia and Sudan into Egypt.

The Nile is the world’s longest river, and it’s where the world’s first war over water could be fought. For millennia Egypt has been the river’s great superpower, but now an ambitious and emerging Ethiopia has dammed the Blue Nile – where most of its water comes from. On assignment with the BBC’s Africa correspondent and his team, you’ll fly high above the river and its waterfalls and inspect the dam up close, before meeting the richest man in Sudan and his air-conditioned cows. You’ll hear from people in cafes and each country’s ministers, explore ancient Sudanese pyramids, Egyptian temples and a chaotic Cairo. Damming the Nile is the first VR documentary series from BBC News.

This 360° video is a version of the first VR documentary series from BBC News.

To view the movie in its various VR formats, click this link, and to explore other immersive content from the BBC, visit this webpage.

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