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.

May 2014

May 28, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

 Host Shaka Ssali and his guests examine the tobacco industry on the African continent as it comes under scrutiny for child labor issues, more aggressive tobacco taxes, and general health concerns. Guests: Joshua Kyallo, Africa Program Director, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids; Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwam, Founder of Pan African Tobacco Group; Francois van der Merwe, Chairman of International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) Africa Region: and Evan Blecher, Ph.D. Director, International Tobacco Control Research, American Cancer Society, Inc.  

May 21, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the recent ceasefire agreement in South Sudan.   VOA Reporter: John Tanza Mabusa, Host and Managing Editor VOA’s South Sudan In Focus   Guests: Moun Deng Ajuet, Charge D ‘Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan to the U.S.; Hussein Maar Nyuot, Spokesperson of the SPLM/SPLA Opposition; and Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide    

May 14, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls by radical terror group, Boko Haram. Washington Studio Guests: OluwaTosin Adegbola,  Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Morgan State University and "We Stand in Solidarity" Rally Organizer, Hibaaq Osman, Islamic Women's Activist and Founder and CEO, Karama; and Emmanuel Ogebe. International Human Rights Lawyer & Bilateral U.S.-Nigerian Relations Expert

May 07, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Guest Host Vincent Makori and his panel of experts discuss Nigeria’s rise to become Africa’s top economic power and how security issues may impact the nation's stability. One on One Interview: Elsie Kanza, World Economic Forum Africa Director  Guests: Joseph Wambia, Managing Director of Finance, AECOM's Global Programs & Africa; Fred Oladeinde, Foundation for Democracy in Africa; and Amb. Robin Sanders, fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria & Congo and Ex-IM Bank's 2014 Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee Chairman

May 2014

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, May 6, 2015 Program:

“2015 African Union’s Year of Women's Empowerment & Gender Equality”


The Africa Union declared 2015 as the “Year of Women's Empowerment and Development” towards “Africa's Agenda 2063,” a strategy aimed at optimizing the use of Africa resources for the benefit of all Africans within the next 50 years.   Last July, then African Union Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zumam explained the reason for this year’s theme at the 23rd Ordinary Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.  Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said it was important right at the onset of agenda 2063 to assert the position of women in that agenda.   She explained, “many a times, policies are made, decisions are taken and women come as an add on because they were either forgotten or not acknowledged and therefore their issues are never totally integrated and that’s why we struggle with mainstreaming because there are policies that are already in place that do not take into account women empowerment.”   


Although she no longer serves as chairperson of the regional member body, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma says that a lot still needs to be done to bring women into the core of Africa’s development.   In March, on International Women’s Day, she called for an action plan for “Agenda 2063” – to include "grassroots approach to gender equality and women's empowerment. “   She wants the agenda to include a political vision of a non-sexist Africa, an Africa where boys and girls can reach their full potential -- and where men and women contribute equally to the development of their societies.


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 women’s empowerment and gender equality on the continent.


One on One Phone or Skype Q&A:

Bineta Diop

African Union Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security

and Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité

via Phone:  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Washington Studio Guest:

Emelia Adjei

Author, “Accelerate Glory: A-to-Z Principles to success in Life and Business”


Los Angeles Remote Guest:

Portia Karegeya

Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellow, 2014-15

University of California Los Angles (UCLA) School of Law

Via Remote: Los Angeles, CA



Question of the Week: 

How can African men and women best promote the Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality movement? 

Send your thoughts and  comments via email to Or, post your comments on our Facebook or Twitter pages.  And, maybe Social Media Reporter, Mariama Diallo will read them "live" on our Wednesday's broadcast.



Social Media

Twitter:  @VOA Shaka

Hashtag:  #VOAEmpowerWomen


Find us on Facebook

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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.