radio / Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Join veteran journalist Shaka Ssali on Straight Talk Africa every Wednesday as he and his guests discuss topics of special interest to Africans, including politics, economic development, press freedom, health, social issues and conflict resolution.

November 2012

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November 2012

Discussion Program on African Issues

Join us every Wednesday for Straight Talk Africa - an international call-in talk show hosted by Shaka Ssali. Shaka and his guests discuss topics of special interest to Africans, including politics, economic development, press freedom, health, social issues and conflict resolution.

Broadcast Schedule

Straight Talk Africa is broadcast live every Wednesday from 1830-1930 UTC/GMT simultaneously on radio, television and the Internet.

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On our Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Program:

"Al Shabab to Boko Haram: Combating Terrorism Across Africa”


In East Africa, the government of Somalia has placed bounties on the heads of 11 al-Shabab leaders, including the alleged mastermind of the April 2 massacre in Kenya that killed 148 students at Garissa University College.  A reward of $250,000 is being offered for the capture of al-Shabab chief, Ahmed Omar Abu Ubyed.  Also among the most wanted is Mohamed Mohamud the alleged planner of the Garissa assault - the Kenyan government is offering $200,000 for his arrest.  The son of a Kenyan government official, Abdirahim Abdullahi was identified among the four perpetrators killed during the attack.  Analysts say it will be difficult to identify al-Shabab’s supporters in a region where people are divided along clan lines and the threat of al-Shabab looms over any attempt to help government agencies. 


Across the continent, African coalition forces are showing signs of defeating Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, but, April 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok school girls, who have not been returned.   Since 2009, the insurgency of Boko Haram not only killed tens of thousands, but threats of attack by the extremist group were primarily responsible for the delay of February’s presidential election.  The lack of confidence by Nigerian voters in President Goodluck Jonathan’s ability to stop Boko Haram ultimately cost him the presidency in the March 28 poll.   


Join us for our live, one-hour television and radio call-in simulcast of "Straight Talk Africa"   when host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the ability of African governments to stop terror groups across the continent.


VOA Reporter

Anne Look

VOA West Africa Correspondent

via Phone/Skype:  Dakar, Senegal


VOA Reporter

Gabe Joeslow

VOA East Africa Correspondent

via Phone:  Khartoum, Sudan



Washington Studio Guests:

Raymond Gilpin, Ph.D.

Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies

National Defense University

Omolola Adele-Oso

Co-Founder of Act 4 Accountability



Question of the Week:

How can African governments effectively combat terrorist groups like al-Shabaab and Boko Haram?

Post your comment via Social Media either on our Facebook or Twiiter pages!  Or, send an email to  And, maybe your comment will read "live" on-air.


Social Media

Twitter:  @VOA Shaka

Hashtag:  #VOACombatTerror


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Contact Us:

Postal Mail
Voice of America
TV to Africa - Suite 1613
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20237

Internship Opportunities

In the competitive and changing television industry, nothing is more valuable for job-seekers than "real world" experience. The Straight Talk Africa internship program offers motivated and outstanding students exciting opportunities to experience practical journalism.  In addition to helping to get our weekly studio programs on-the-air, interns also produce a final project for their portfolios. Projects include writing and producing promos, stories, and even full-length documentary or magazine shows.

Watch our interns in action

For more information and/or send your resume to:
Attention Roblyn Hymes. Applications are accepted on a open deadline basis.



A Straight Talk Africa Special

About the Host

Shaka, a Ugandan-born American journalist, holds a doctorate in cross-cultural communication and history from UCLA in California. He is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and has received numerous honors, including a United Nations Peacekeeping Special Achievement Award in International Journalism. Other awards include VOA's Best Journalist Award and Kigezi College Butobere's first ever Highest Achievement Award in International Human Communication. Butobere is located in Kabale, southwestern Uganda, and is Shaka’s alma mater.

During his career, Shaka has interviewed and hosted many presidents and prime ministers.  Among them:  General Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Nigeria; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa; Former President, Zambia; Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom;  Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Ghana President John Evans Atta Mills; Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President, Namibia; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni; Joseph Kabila, President, DRC; Rwanda President Paul Kagame; and General Salva Kiir, First Vice President, and president of the government of Southern Sudan.

He has also hosted newsmakers and policy makers who interact with Africa, including:   Norbert Mao, President, Uganda Democratic Party; Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Donald Yamamoto, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank; South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai; Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Mo Ibrahim, Chairman Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Nobel Literature laureate Wole Soyinka; Professor Muna Ndulo, Cornell Law School; Professor Ali Mazrui, SUNY; Professor George Ayittey, American University; Professor Sulayman Nyang, Howard University; Uganda Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba; Dr. Rebecca Nyandeing de Mabior, a Southern Sudan government official and widow of former SPLA leader Dr. John Garang; Jeff Sharlet, author, The Family; Bob Hunter, Associate, Fellowship Foundation; Mbulelo Rakwena, former South African Ambassador to Brazil; Baffour Ankomah, Editor, New African magazine.