Washington, D.C., January 2, 2008 - The Voice of America (VOA) will begin broadcasting a new Swahili program to East Africa on January 3. The 30-minute daily radio program will include live news reports from throughout Kenya, as well as analysis and discussion.
The inaugural broadcast will carry an exclusive interview with U.S. presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama, who stated, "The way forward is not through violence; it is through democracy and the rule of law. To all of Kenya's people I ask you to renew Kenya's democratic tradition and seek your dreams in peace."
The Kenyan government has banned local radio and television stations from broadcasting coverage of the post-election crisis that has left over 300 people dead and thousands displaced from their homes.
"With such devastating violence and new restrictions on local media, our role in providing the Kenyan people with accurate news and information is ever more critical," said VOA director Danforth Austin.
The new program can be heard in Kenya from 6:00 to 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday via shortwave (7380 and 9440 kHz). VOA also broadcasts a Swahili evening program from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week on shortwave (9565, 13865, and 15730 kHz). VOA broadcasts forty-five hours of regional and world news in English each week to East Africa by shortwave and FM. All VOA programs are available on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Swahili/ and www.VOANews.com/English/Africa. The interview with Barack Obama can be heard online at www.VOANews.com/english/2008-01-02-voa60.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 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For further information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.