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VOA Expands Programming to Africa


Listener requests prompt new broadcasts in Hausa and programming for Zimbabwe

Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2005 - Beginning October 31, the Voice of America (VOA) will expand radio broadcasts to Western and Southern Africa in response to listener requests for increased programming to the region.

VOA's Hausa Language Service will expand its popular breakfast program to a full hour. The new hour-long program, airing from 0430-0530 UTC (5:30-6:30 AM local) will offer listeners a comprehensive and timely broadcast of news about Nigeria, Ghana, Niger and Cameroon from a network of stringers in West Africa. The program will also offer more international news, special reports, political discussion and interviews, as well as features on health, agriculture, religion, youth, lifestyle, and traditional Hausa music.

Studio 7, VOA's news program for Zimbabwe, is set to feature a new evening lineup in response to listener requests for increased broadcasts in the Shona and Ndebele languages. From Monday through Friday, Studio 7 will provide daily 30-minute reports in those languages and in English, expanding the broadcast from 60 to 90 minutes. Zimbabweans will hear Shona at 7:00 p.m. local time, followed by English at 7:30, then Ndebele at 8:00 p.m.

VOA Hausa, which currently airs 10.5 hours of programming a week, has nearly 20 million listeners in Africa who receive its programs on shortwave, medium wave (AM) and FM, and the Internet. VOA’s popularity is reflected in a recent letter from a listener in Kaduna, Nigeria, who wrote: "I am writing this mail to commend you for telling the truth no matter how bitter it is regarding the happenings around the world. It is true that VOA is second to none in giving the recent news update and other programmes." For more information on programs, frequencies and scheduling for VOA Hausa, please visit the web site at www.VOAHausa.com.

Studio 7 is funded through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and is produced and managed by VOA's Africa Division. Recent survey data show that Studio 7 has doubled its audience in the southern African country since late 2003. Audience response also confirms listener loyalty, reinforced by Studio 7 coverage of Harare’s May-July urban "cleanup" which left thousands homeless. "I would like to express my gratitude for the heroic work that you are doing for us all here back home," wrote one listener. "You tell us the truth of what exactly is taking place in Zimbabwe," said another. For more information please visit the web site at www.VOANews.com/english/africa/zimbabwe.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or E-Mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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