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.

July 2014

July 30, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali will introduce you to some extraordinary young Africans to share their experiences in U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. Washington Studio Guests: Isaac Mwanza, YALI Governance Advisor  Zambia; Abella Bateyunga, BBC Media Action Tanzania, and Safiya Ahmad Nuhu, Public Law Lecturer at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria PreTaped Interview: Rumbidzai Dube, Research and Advocacy Unit Kadoma, Zimbabwe            

July 23, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the African Diaspora's contributions to the continent.   Washington Studio Guests, Edouard Haba, City Councilman of Hyattsville, Maryland; Sylvester Okere, Maryland-Nigeria Sister State Executive Committee Chair and Ngozi Nmezi, Director of the Washington DC Mayor's Office on African Affairs

July 16, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the political landscape of South Sudan and how the East African nation is fairing three years after declaring independence.   VOA Reporter: John Tanza Mabusa, Host and Managing Editor, VOA's South Sudan In Focus via SKYPE: Nairobi, Kenya  Guests: Moun Deng Ajuet, South Sudan Charge D 'Affairs to the U.S.; Nabeel Mohamed Biajo, Atlas Corps Fellows, & David S. Bassiouni, Ph.D., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Bassiouni Group via UN Remote Studio

July 09, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Shaka Ssali and his guests take a closer look at the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals and examine why no African team has made it past  the semi-finals. VOA Correspondents: Scott Bobb, Regional Correspondent *Rio de Janeiro and Nicolas Pinault, French to Africa Correspondent *Belo Horizonte Washington Studio Guests: Sonny Young, Host, VOA English to Africa's "Sonnyside of Sports" and Phillip Gyau, former U.S. Soccer Forward and Howard University Men's Soccer Head Coach

July 02, 2014

Straight Talk Africa [simulcast]

Host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss the latest developments from the African Union Summit.   Guests: Fred Oladeinde, President of the Foundation for Democracy in Africa; Nii Akuetteh, International Policy Analyst and Founder of the Democracy & Conflict Research Institute; and Erastus Mwencha, African Union Deputy Chairperson via phone:  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  

July 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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Join the Discussion

On our December 24, 2014 Program:
ENCORE PRESENTATION from Wednesday, November 26, 2014 


"Mama Sarah Obama Foundation’s Legacy Plan"


The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF) is the realization of a long-term dream of the paternal grandmother of U.S President Barack Obama,  Sarah Obama. The foundation was established in 2009 after years of hard work helping orphans and poverty-stricken families feed and educate their children.  With the AIDS epidemic ravaging sub-Sahara Africa in the last three decades and leaving many children without parents, Mama Sarah turned her attention to addressing the educational and welfare needs of orphans in Kogelo village. Mama Sarah used her own resources and relentlessly worked with community leaders to meet the dire needs of these orphans.   This week, Sarah Obama, who was married to the president’s late grandfather is in the United States to promote her dream of a modern education and health complex in the western Kenyan village where the president’s father was raised and is buried.  She wants to build a legacy that would continue her work of helping children long after she is gone.

Join us for this live one-hour television and radio call-in simulcast when guest host Shaka Ssali sits down with Mama Sarah Obama’s and discuss her hopes for her foundation and the legacy she wants to leave behind for the Obama family in Kenya and globally.


Pre- Taped Interview:

Sarah Obama, Ph.D.

Grandmother of U.S. President Barack Obama and

Founder of Mama Sarah Obama Foundation



Washington Studio Guests:

Said Obama

Uncle of U.S. President  and CEO of Mama Sarah Obama Foundation


Debra Akello

U.S. Executive Director of the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation



Social Media for Mama Sarah Obama Foundation:




Question of the Week:

How important in your view, is the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, whose vision is a world where children are nurtured and supported to thrive and succeed in life?

Send an email to:  or Post your comment on our Facebook Page.  Key words: Straight Talk Africa


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Voice of America
TV to Africa - Suite 1613
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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.