Straight Talk Africa

Straight Talk Africa Wed, 17 Juli
July 17, 2013 6:30 PM
Shaka Ssali hosts this call-in program that examines topics of special interest to Africans.

Straight Talk Africa Wed, 17 Jul

Published July 17, 2013

Shaka Ssali hosts this call-in program that examines topics of special interest to Africans.

Straight Talk Africa

Shaka Ssali hosts this call-in program that examines topics of special interest to Africans.

Join us every Wednesday as 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, August 5, 2015 Program:

"Young African Leaders Initiative:  Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans”

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The fellowship provides 500 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to sharpen their skills at 20 U.S. colleges and universities with support for professional development after they return home. The fellows selected for the highly competitive program have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions or communities.  Each Mandela Washington Fellow participates in a six-week academic and leadership program at a U.S. institute of higher learning in one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership or public management that culminates with a Presidential Summit in Washington featuring President Obama.


Join us for this live one-hour television and radio call-in simulcast when host Shaka Ssali will introduce you to some of Africa’s brightest minds to share their experiences in President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program.



Washington Studio Guests:

Dagnachew Wakene

2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

THISAbility Consulting Co-Founder and Disability Rights Promotion International Researcher

Kamakei Sangiriaki

2015  Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Narok, Kenya)

and Neighbors Peace Initiative Director


Alice Niyonkuru    

2015  Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Burundi)

and Long Miles Coffee Project Office Director


Question of the Week:
What is the best way for YALI Mandela Washington Fellows to build a bridge between America and Africa?

Send an email to or post your comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages. And, maybe our Social Media Reporter Mariama Diallo will read your response on Wednesday's program!


Social Media

Hashtag:  #VOA2015YALI

Twitter:  @VOAShaka


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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 to Roblyn Hymes.

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.