Text of press release from Voice of America on 30 June

Washington DC: Voice of America’s popular French and English language news and music programmes will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Central African Republic’s capital city, Bangui, with the launch of VOA’s new station 101.7 FM.

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize, who is scheduled to take part in an official July 4th opening ceremony with US ambassador Lawrence Wohlers, called the new FM station “proof of good relations between the US and CAR”.

In an exclusive interview with VOA that is to be broadcast Monday, President Bozize said, “I think it is an honour for Central African Republic to be the recipient of this particular show of confidence in our present government with the establishment of this VOA FM station in Bangui.”

VOA FM 101.7 will carry a mix of French and English language programmes produced in Washington, including “Daybreak Africa”, “Africa News Tonight”, “African Music Mix”, “Aujourd’hui L’Afrique Centrale” and “Le Monde Aujourd’hui-Edition pour L’Afrique Centrale”. Other popular VOA French programmes include “Washington Forum”, “L’Amerique et Vous”, and “Antenne Libre”.

VOA executive editor and acting director Steve Redisch said the opening of the new station “marks another important step in providing broader VOA coverage to sub-Saharan Africa.” The station is similar to seven others VOA operates in Africa and will reach residents in Bangui and the surrounding areas.

Voice of America worked closely with the US embassy in Bangui, which helped facilitate the installation of the new station. The VOA and US embassy teams that worked on the project are holding a “town hall” style meeting to discuss the new station and parts of the town hall will be broadcast on Monday.

VOA’s French-to-Africa Service has been on the air since 1960. Each week, it broadcasts more than 22 hours on radio and 30 minutes on television to Francophone sub-Saharan countries. The service also has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and mobile. For more information, visit www.VOANews.com/French or www.lavoixdelamerique.com.

July 1st, 2011 - 11:16 UTC
by A.Sennitt
(Source: Voice of America press release, Washington, in English 30 Jun 11 via BBC Monitoring)