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 Saturday, March 28, 2015 Program:

VOA Presents Special Edition "Nigeria Decides 2015: The Vote”


Campaigning in Nigeria’s historic presidential and parliamentary elections is winding down and Voice of America is committed to bringing you special Election Day coverage on Saturday, March 28.   Join “Straight Talk Africa” hosted by Shaka Ssali for an in-depth discussion and expert analysis on the most important election issues facing Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy.  Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress are locked in a tight race for Nigeria’s top post.  VOA correspondents will have up-to-the-minute reports from key locations across Nigeria. 


Tune in for a special edition of "Straight Talk Africa" for our live, one-hour television and radio call-in simulcast as part of Voice of America’s “Nigeria Decides 2015” Election Day coverage on Saturday, March 28th beginning at 1800 UTC.


One on One with Newsmaker:

Kayode Idowu

Chief Press Secretary to Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega

Independent National Electoral Commission

via Phone or Remote:  Abuja, Nigeria



VOA Reporters:

Peter Clottey
Host of VOA's “Nightline Africa”
via Remote:  Abuja, Nigeria

Chris Stein
VOA Nigeria Correspondent
via Phone: Kano, Nigeria



Dr. Okenwa Nwosu, M.D.

National Coordinator of the Goodluck  Ebele Azikiwe Johnathan Global Campaign
Team for 2015

Sylvester Okere

National Chairman of the USA Movement 4 Buhari-Osibanjo and National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council’s African Representative of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)


Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, D.V.M.

Distinguished Fellow, Boston University, African Presidential Center, former Senator
of Ogun State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Daughter of former Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo

via Phone/SKYPE: Boston, Massachusetts


Question of the Week:
Which Nigerian presidential candidate are you supporting – and why?

Post your comment on our Facbook page!  Or, send an email to  And, maybe your comment will read "live" on-air.


Social Media

Twitter:  @VOA Shaka

Hashtag:  #VOANigeriaDecides2015


Watch the 2015 Nigeria Elections Updates

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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.