Washington, D.C., October 10, 2008 - The Voice of America (VOA) is launching a new FM radio station in Freetown, Sierra Leone, allowing audiences in the West African country's capital to listen to a variety of news, talk, sports and music programs 24 hours a day.
The shows are available on 102.4 FM as well as on the web at www.VOAafrica.com.
"We're delighted that VOA's shows will be more accessible to people in a country that's working so hard to support democracy following years of civil strife," said VOA Director Danforth Austin. "It will be easier to tune in to our shows on FM - at home, at work, or in a car."
VOA's launch on Saturday includes a ceremony attended by media professionals, government representatives, members of the private sector, VOA fan clubs in Freetown and U.S. Embassy officials.
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, in an interview taped in advance for the FM launch, welcomed VOA to his country and discussed the prospects and challenges facing his people a year into his term.
Ted Roberts, host of VOA's weekend news magazine show, Nightline Africa, was in Freetown to host a live broadcast to mark the beginning of the new station.
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 approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.