Washington, D.C., September 12, 2005 - The Voice of America (VOA) has doubled its Amharic language broadcast and moved the time and frequencies for Afan Oromo and Tigrigna language broadcasts in response to audience requests.
Beginning today, VOA's Amharic language broadcast expanded to a full hour every day from 1800-1900 UTC (9:00-10:00 p.m. locally/2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT). The half-hour expansion will allow VOA to provide new programs, including a Saturday audience-request music show and other features designed especially for young listeners.
VOA also moved its half-hour weekday Afan Oromo and Tigrigna language broadcasts to new times starting today. Afan Oromo now begins at 1730 UTC (8:30 p.m. locally/1:30 p.m. EDT) and Tigrigna begins at 1900 UTC (10:00 p.m. locally/3:00 p.m. EDT).
All three programs will move to common frequencies: 9875, 11905
and 13870 Khz.
VOA Director David Jackson said the changes will make it easier for audiences in the Horn of Africa to listen to VOA's news, sports, features, and entertainment programming. "The time changes for Afan Oromo and Tigrigna and the expanded Amharic program reflect VOA's commitment to Africa, and especially to the Horn of Africa," said Jackson. "These changes mean that VOA's languages to this important region will be broadcast in an uninterrupted, two-hour time block to accommodate our listeners who want to hear news and programs in more than one language."
VOA's Horn of Africa broadcast languages are believed to reach at least two-thirds of the total population of Ethiopia, and have a significant audience in Eritrea. VOA's Horn of Africa website, which is particularly popular with the diaspora, is also being enhanced to allow greater access to daily broadcasts and an archive of past programs. Visitors can listen and download VOA programs at: www.VOANews.com/horn/index.cfm
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.