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VOA Launches Radio Program for Rwandan Youth

'Heza' airs Sundays in the Kinyarwanda language

Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2008 -- The Voice of America (VOA) has launched Heza, a weekly, half-hour Kinyarwanda-language radio program that addresses issues of concern to Rwandan youth.

Heza includes roundtable discussions, news stories by young journalists, and music by some of Rwanda's most popular music bands. The first program featured music by and an interview with "Kigali Boys," one of Rwanda's most popular hip-hop bands.

"I am very excited by the first Heza broadcast," comments VOA Central Africa Service Chief Robert Daguillard. "The show is energetic and fast-paced. This is youth radio at its best!" he added.

The roundtable discussions and much of the music heard in Heza are recorded at the Maison des Jeunes de Kimisagara, a youth center operated by Forum des Jeunes and located in Kigali, the capital.

The program is a co-production of the German Development Service (an international development aid organization funded by the German government), the Voice of America, and the Forum des Jeunes Giramahoro in Rwanda. The partners' goal in producing Heza is to help promote inter-ethnic reconciliation, to help foster civil society, and to combat hatred and prejudice.

The program, broadcast on shortwave and 104.3 FM, VOA’s 24-hour station in Kigali, Rwanda, airs on Sundays at 0330 UTC (repeats: Sundays, 1630 UTC and Saturdays, 1600 UTC).

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 more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail