Washington, D.C., January 29, 2009 - Voice of America's (VOA) Hausa Service celebrated its 30th anniversary today at the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Nigeria's Minister of State, Information and Communications, Alhaji Ikra Bilbis, participated in the festivities and represented Nigeria's First Lady Hajia Turai Yar'Adua.
On behalf of the First Lady, Minister Bilbis said: "We recognize and appreciate the vital role the VOA's Hausa Service plays as a vehicle of mobilization and development....We are also particularly thankful for the tremendous attention that the VOA Hausa Service gives to issues affecting women and children."
Several other Nigerian dignitaries traveled to Washington for the event, joining diplomats from the embassies of Nigeria, the Niger Republic and Zambia.
"Since the Hausa Service first went on the air in January of 1979," VOA Director Danforth Austin said, "it has been one of the most popular international broadcasters in Africa-providing relevant news and information about Nigeria, the United States and the world."
The day's activities included a presentation on The Role of International Radio in Promoting Democracy
by Howard University's Dr. Bolaji Aluko, followed by a panel discussion. The celebration also featured a special performance by a local Nigerian cultural dance group.
The VOA Hausa Service reaches over 20 million people on shortwave, medium wave and affiliate stations in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Ghana. In Nigeria alone, VOA Hausa enjoys a weekly audience of over 47 percent. Its programs are also available on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Hausa
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, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail askvoa@VOANews.com.