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VOA Broadcasting to the Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa service broadcasts to Ethiopia and Eritrea in three languages: Amharic, Afan Oromo, and Tigrigna. Amharic programming is meant for more than 110 million people living in Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as diaspora communities throughout the world. Afan Oromo is directed at an estimated 37 percent of Ethiopians living in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, while Tigrigna is heard throughout the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and in Eritrea. Digital and mobile platforms are also available on the web. The Horn of Africa service broadcasts local, regional, U.S. and international news, as well as an array of programming about Ethiopian and American culture, politics, current affairs, economics, health, education, entertainment and more. According to a 2018 survey commissioned by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, VOA is the leading international broadcaster in Ethiopia with a weekly audience of more than eleven million. The survey results also indicate that 98 percent of those surveyed said they “trust VOA’s news and information.”

Quick Facts

Established: Amharic, September 1982

Afan Oromo, July 1996

Tigrigna, July 1996

Target Areas:

Amharic and Afan Oromo:

Ethiopia and the diaspora everywhere.


Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the diaspora.

Weekly Audience:

11.5 Million, or 12.3% (2018 survey)


Radio and RoTV:

Amharic – 7 hours per week

Tigrigna – 3 ½ hours per week

Gabbina -- 3 ½ hours per week

Radio and TV:

Afan Oromo – 3 ½ hours per week

Broadcast programs and additional features are available at:

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube:

Amharic: @voaamharic

Afaan Oromo: @voaafaanoromoo

Tigrinya: @voatigrigna

In addition to live broadcasts, the programs are later repeated via:

SW and

EthioSat, VOAEthiopia Channel.

Programs and Features

Amharic (1 hour / seven days a week, 1800 UTC / Radio SW and RoTV) Amharic broadcasts regional and world news, as well as an array of engaging and participatory weekly features.

Monday – A 7-minute program Ask the Doctor on health topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday: Education, Development and Economy - A 7-minute program focusing on current issues in education, as well as economic challenges and opportunities.

Wednesday: 7-minute features each, Democracy in Action -- focuses on issues of democracy and governance, the rule of law and human rights. Women and Family -- highlighting achievements and challenges for women, family matters and raising children. Ethiopians in America -- features stories about Ethiopians living in U.S. diaspora communities. Americana -- features stories about the American way of life, culture, and society.

Thursday: Cultural Mosaic -- features stories on Ethiopian people, ethnicity, cultures, rituals and traditions, music, literature, and the arts.

Saturday: Call-In Shows, Panel Discussions, Crossfire -- in which two or more guests offer differing views in a lively debate on important issues of the day in Ethiopia.

Sunday: Sunday Special includes panel discussions on the week’s hot issues and Radio magazine includes extensive reporting on selected topics, as well as entertaining, cultural reports and discussions.

Afaan Oromo (30 min / seven days a week,1730 UTC / Radio SW and TV)

Afaan Oromo broadcasts regional and world news, as well as an array of features on democracy, health, development, agriculture, American stories and more. It also presents reports and interviews of special interest to the Oromo population in Ethiopia and the diaspora, including a popular eight-minute weekly (Tuesday) program: Did You Know This about Oromos? and Highlights of the Week (Saturday and Sunday) weekend package shows.

Tigrigna (30 min / seven days a week,1900 UTC / Radio SW and RoTV)

VOA Tigrigna airs news and features of particular interest to the Tigrigna-speaking listeners in Northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Tigrigna also offers a weekly (Wednesday) 10-minute program called People to People, in which Tigrigna-speaking Ethiopians and Eritreans discuss issues of mutual interest or concern. Other programs include the biweekly (Tuesday) 7-minute Eritreans in America, the biweekly (Tuesday) 7-minute Life in America feature and the Saturday and Sunday (weekly) Call-in show on conflict and humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

Gabina VOA (30 min. / seven days a week, 1700 UTC / Radio SW and RoTV)

A fast-paced radio show aimed at youth in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The program explores a range of topics that impact the lives of young people in the region and gives them a forum for expressing their views. Among the topics: migration, health, entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, local governance, music, and life in America. (Gabina VOA is also re-broadcast on medium wave at 1500 UTC and 1600 UTC).