Veteran VOA journalist Howard Lesser retires after 31 years at the Voice of America and as co-host of "Daybreak Africa".

In reflection, Lesser said he has seen many changes in Africa over the years.

?The 1960s were the time when many African countries achieved independence from their colonial powers, and the fulfillment of that story has been a continuously running headline and constant theme for our shows ever since then. And, I think this has meant a lot to Africans, gaining a new identity, forming their own organization of African Unity, and the transition into the African Union,? he said.

Lesser said, although there have been some ups and downs like military coups in some African countries and citizens being disappointed with their leaders for staying in power longer than expected, he said, overall, Africans were beginning to have a positive outlook of their future, especially as more and more countries adopt multi-party democracies.

Overall, he said the communications revolution especially the cell phone technology has made Africa and the whole world smaller.

?You really have seen the change in Africa where the cell phone has emerged as a way of connecting people who just had no other physical means to hook up with other people because of all the natural barriers and great distances that were involved,? Lesser said.

He thanked his listeners for being such gracious and engaging listeners and helping to give his broadcasting career enhanced meaning for over 30 years.

?You?ve always been understanding and accepting, provocatively challenging when called for and, most of all, enthusiastic about all elements of the cultural bridge that share across the electronic airways, and I want to assure you that my colleagues, James, Peter, Meraf, Mark, Nicole and our entire world-class Voice of America staff will continue to be here with you morning after morning, day after day to get your day off to a cheerful, secured and enterprising start,? Lesser said.