The Voice of America and the Kigali-based digital media company Hooza have signed an agreement making VOA’s VOA60 Afurika program in Kinyarwanda available to mobile subscribers on the MTN Rwanda and Airtel Rwanda networks.
“Increasingly, people are using their mobile phones to access information that is important to them,” said VOA Africa Division Director Negussie Mengesha. “We are happy to partner with Hooza to give the people of Rwanda the ability to stay abreast of the latest news.”
The 60-second daily news roundup in Kinyarwanda, produced by VOA’s Central Africa Service, will be available to smart and feature phone users by sending the keyword “VOA” to 2656. Subscribers will receive an SMS alert when new content is added, and when breaking news occurs. Subscribers also will have access to archived content and can engage with the service by leaving comments on the programs they hear.
Since 1996, VOA’s Central Africa Service has been the only international source of news and information in Kirundi and Kinyarwanda for Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Uganda and Northwest Tanzania. VOA broadcasts have a 36 percent audience share in Rwanda. VOA60 Afurika also is available on the service’s mobile site and social media.
Hooza, Ltd. is a media service provider, and a digital media and communications consultancy. The firm has more than a decade of experience in broadcast programming and management, with expertise in social development, finance, economics and peace building in Africa’s Great Lakes Region and the East Africa Community.
The Voice of America reaches a global weekly audience of more than 187 million people in more than 40 languages. VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable, shortwave, FM, medium wave, streaming audio and video, and more than 2,350 media outlets worldwide. VOA is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.