In addition to daily shortwave broadcasts to the region, VOA-FM offers a rich mixture of VOA's international and local news, updates on current events in Africa and worldwide, as well as a wide range of cultural features. Programming will also includes listener favorites such as Healthy Living with Josephine Kamara, a 30-minute health magazine program featuring reports on medical issues affecting Africa; Sonny Young's Sonny Side of Sports; and Straight Talk Africa with Shaka Ssali, a call-in show which examines topics targeted specifically to Africans, including politics, health, social issues and conflict resolution.
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Mary Carlin Yates commented on the launch during a ceremony held today in Accra. "I truly believe that having a free and open media is one of the key elements of democracy," she said. "When people have choices in what to listen to and what to read, they can better form their own opinions about politics and about the world."
Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor also praised the launch of VOA's 24-hour broadcast during a special appearance on yesterday's Straight Talk Africa program.
Accra becomes the seventh capital city in Africa to receive continuous VOA FM broadcasts. Surveys show that 97 percent of Ghanaians use radio as a primary source of news. VOA's FM broadcasts will reach an estimated audience of one million people. Twenty-four-hour VOA broadcasts are also heard in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Djibouti, Djibouti; Nairobi, Kenya; Kigali, Rwanda; and Freetown, Sierra Leone.
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, including English.
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