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 2015

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May 2015

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 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

Follow us on Twitter

  Watch us on YouTube

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.