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Africa

Breaking news, discussion, African music, sport and health information.

Africa 54

If you want to know what’s trending in news, health, sports and lifestyle, then tune in to Africa 54. Airing Monday through Friday, this 30-minute program takes a closer look at the stories Africans are talking about, with reports from VOA correspondents, and interviews with top experts and analysts. Africa 54 also serves viewers with timely information about health, education, business and technology. And for the young and young at heart, Africa 54 provides a daily dose of pop culture, including music, fashion and entertainment.

On our Programs:
Watch for more political, health, sports, and feature stories on YouTube.


Meet the Team:

 

Esther Githui-Ewart, Anchor of Africa 54

Esther Githui-Ewart is the Lead Anchor of VOA ‘s Africa 54 daily television news program for sub-Saharan Africa. Esther started her career in Kenya with the National Broadcaster KBC as Television Presenter, before coming to the U.S. to work for the Voice of America’s Swahili Service. She is one of the first VOA reporters to interview U.S. President Barack Obama in 2004. Esther reports daily on political developments in Africa and also follows closely the initiatives of the African diaspora. A veteran journalist of VOA English TV to Africa, Esther also served as the host of VOA’s “Africa Journal,” a weekly television call-in program and Anchored “Special Report Africa,” a weekly lifestyle television magazine program sharing human interest stories of the African the continent and the diaspora.

 

On Mondays: Sports with Sunday Shomari

Sunday Shomari hails from Tanzania. Since 2008, Sunday has served as an International Broadcaster with VOA’s Swahili Service working on entertainment, youth and news programs. He joined the  VOA English show to Africa service as the host of "Let’s Talk." Sunday’s hobbies include reading books, watching movies and playing soccer.

 

 

 

 

On Tuesdays: Health with Linord Moudou

Linord Moudou is the producer & host of the Africa Health Network on Africa 54. She also produces and hosts Health Chat on the Voice of America radio, a live call-in program that addresses health issues of interest to Africa. Linord Moudou was born and raised in Côte d’Ivoire. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and media productions from George Mason University, and a certificate in television and radio productions from the Columbia School of Broadcasting. The veteran broadcaster is fluent in French, English and conversational in Spanish and Creole.

On Wednesdays: Technology with Paul Ndiho

Paul Ndiho is an award-winning Multimedia Ugandan – American video journalist, host of  Shaka Extra Time and Africa Technology on Africa 54. Paul has traveled extensively to more than 30 Africa countries, reporting on African politics, different economies, the diverse cultures, and the people with a particular interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of African entrepreneurs. Email:pndiho@voanews.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

 

 

On Fridays: Music with Heather Maxwell

Heather Maxwell is an American ethnomusicologist and singer/songwriter and composer. She has worked in Africa for over 30 years, published academic and musical  works, and speaks French and Bambara, in addition to her native English. Maxwell Hosts and produces the legacy, music radio program Music Time in Africa (MTIA) which was founded by the late Leo Sarkisian in 1965. MTIA is dedicated to pan-African music, music news, and interviews with artists from across the continent and the diaspora. Maxwell also hosts Music Makers, a weekly TV feature of African music for VOA’s Africa 54. Since taking the helm of MTIA in 2012, she has built a dynamic, social media and YouTube community around the radio program, adding millions of new fans.

Facebook: Music Time in Africa – MTIA
Twitter @musictimeafrica
Insta: @mtiamaxwell

 

Vincent Makori, Managing Editor of Africa 54

Vincent Makori is the Managing Editor of Africa 54, Voice of America’s daily TV program for Africa. He also serves as a producer and writer and Anchor for Africa 54. Vincent is a versatile journalist with 20 years of experience, working in Africa, Europe and the U.S. He has been at VOA for more than 11 years.
Vincent has covered a wide range of stories including the Africa Union Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, The U.N. General Assembly in New York, International Trade and Technology Fairs in Berlin and Hanover Germany. The International AIDS Conference, in Mexico City, Mexico, and the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He has interviewed people of all walks of life, including high ranking officials and presidents, among them, former U.S. President George W. Bush, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, former President of Ghana John Kufuor, President Ifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia ; Noble Laureate Wangari Maathai and academic luminaries like Professor Ali Mazrui.
He holds a post-graduate degree in mass communication from the School of Journalism of the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English Literature from Moi University, Kenya. He has attended numerous training programs in journalism, in Kenya, Germany and the U.S.

Africa News Tonight

Africa News Tonight is a 30-minute news magazine program that airs twice each evening Monday through Friday, at 1600 and 1800 UTC/GMT.

Africa News Tonight brings you the latest news from our correspondents on the continent, as well as interviews with African officials, opposition leaders, NGOs, human rights activists and government officials.

The show also examines developments in science and technology, the environment, development issues, the African diaspora, business, lifestyle and culture.

    African Beat

    African Beat showcases the latest and the greatest of contemporary African music and conversation. From Benga to Juju, Hip Life to Bongo Flava, Bubu to Soukous and more, host David Vandy has his finger on the pulse of the hottest African music and related issues today.

    Arts & Culture

    The latest news about movies, theater, music and art.

    Border Crossings TV

    COVID-19 Pandemic

    The latest news, information, guidelines, and outlook for the COVID-19 pandemic that's killed thousands of people and sickened millions of others around the world.

    Daybreak Africa

    Each day, Daybreak Africa looks at the latest developments on the continent, starting with headline news and providing in-depth interviews, reports from VOA correspondents, sports news and a selection of listeners' letters.

    Daybreak Africa is paired with the 30-minute World News Now program at 0330, 0430, 0530 and 0630 UTC to provide a seamless hour of comprehensive news coverage.

    Schedule
    Monday-Friday
    0300, 0400, 0500 & 0600 UTC/GMT

    Contact Us

    E-mail
    daybreakafrica@voanews.com

    Telephone

    To leave a message for the program staff, call +1.202.205.9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 25 and then leave your message after the tone. Speak clearly and provide your name and location. We might use your comments in our program!

    Postal Mail
    Voice of America
    Room 1613
    330 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20237
    USA

    East Asia Pacific

    Asia coverage from the Voice of America. VOA covers the world including China, Vietnam and South Korea.

    Encounter

    Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, culture, public policy, or academia debate and discuss a critical issue in the news. This program brings depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated and discussed in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.

    Subscribe to a Podcast of the show

    Broadcast Schedule

    Encounter is broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.

    • Saturdays: 0330 0930 1430 1800 and 2330 UTC
    • Sundays: 0530 1230 1730 1930 UTC

    About Your Host

    Carol Castiel moderates and produces not only Encounter but Press Conference USA as well. She also oversees the production of Issues in the News, VOA’s roundup of the week’s top stories by distinguished Washington journalists.

    Before joining the Voice of America, Carol was a consultant/freelance journalist specializing in the promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa. She was also a contributing editor to the London-based West Africa Magazine. Carol is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Contact:

    Email: ​encounter@voanews.com

    Facebook: ​CarolCastielVOA

    Twitter: ​CarolCastielVOA

    Postal Mail:
    Voice of America
    Encounter
    Washington, D.C. 20237 USA

    Europe

    Europe news from the Voice of America. VOA news provides coverage Europe and Russia.

    Extremism Watch

    VOA's Extremism Watch desk monitors news related to extremism around the world. 

    Game Room

    Winners and almost winners tell you how they played each week as we gather in the VOA Game Room. We share the fun, record achievements and look ahead to the big sports events always around the corner. Our season never ends in the VOA Game Room!

    Health Chat

    Health Chat is a live call-in program that addresses health issues of interest to Africa. The show puts listeners directly in touch with guest medical professionals. It includes a weekly feature spot, health news and comments from listeners on health issues. The program is hosted by veteran health reporter Linord Moudou.


    Broadcast time: Tuesday 1730-1800 UTC/GMT

    Frequencies: 6080, 13635, 15580, 17895

    This week's topic: Water and Sanitation

    Join the conversation live during the show at + 1 202 619 3111. Please ask your questions or send your comments to: HealthChat@voanews.com


    Join us on www.facebook.com/voahealthchat

    Meet the host

    Linord Moudou was born and raised in Côte d’Ivoire. She currently serves as health correspondent for VOA’s daily TV show Africa54. She started her career at VOA as producer & host of Healthy Living, a weekly health magazine program covering African health issues.

    Before joining VOA, Linord worked as an independent broadcast and print journalist, traveling between Africa, Europe and the United States.

    She holds a Bachelor in journalism and media productions from George Mason University, and a certificate in television and radio productions from the Columbia School of Broadcasting.

    The senior broadcaster is fluent in French, English and conversational in Spanish and Creole.

    Healthy Living

    Healthy Living is a 15-minute weekly TV show about African health with an emphasis on prevention and practical solutions for Africans including good health during pregnancy, easy hygiene practices, fitness and healthy eating habits. Healthy Living also informs viewers about the latest healthcare breakthroughs from HIV prevention and treatment, overcoming food and water-borne diseases, reducing malaria rates to treating cancer.

     

    About Linord Moudou

    Linord Moudou is the writer and host of the VOA Africa TV program Healthy Living, designed to give viewers in Africa and around the world, practical solutions to keep their families and themselves healthy and thriving. She also writes and hosts Carnet de Santé, the French Health TV program.

    She also produces and hosts VOA Africa’s Health Chat, a live, radio call-in program that addresses health issues of interest to Africa. In addition, she is the producer, reporter and host for the Africa 54 health segment, VOA Africa's daily news TV broadcast.

    Over the years she has covered a wide range of topics including malaria, HIV/AIDS, autism, endometriosis, cancer, and the Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals. She has interviewed leaders and newsmakers such as Bill and Melinda Gates, President of Namibia Hage Geingob; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; Singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka and Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered CTE in American Football.

    Linord studied journalism and media productions at George Mason University and TV and Radio broadcasting at Columbia School of Broadcasting.

     

    Immigration

    Recent stories about U.S. immigration policies, enforcement, and the people who come to the U.S. as workers, students and refugees.

    International Edition

    Quick, informative, fun. VOA’s International Edition brings the world together with U.S. perspectives. Experts, analysts, social media views and newsmakers themselves help tell today’s stories everyone wants to hear. Brighten your day with VOA’s International Edition.

    Broadcast Schedule

    Sun-Thu 2230, 2330 UTC/GMT
    Mon-Fri 0130, 0330, 0430, 0530, 0630, 1230, 1330, 1430, 1700, 1900 UTC/GMT

    Contact Us

    E-mail
    voanews@voanews.com


    Postal Mail
    Voice of America
    330 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20237
    USA

    Issues in the News

    Washington journalists from print, wire services, and broadcast media discuss the top news stories of the week.

    Drawing on their contacts and sources at the White House, Capitol Hill and elsewhere, our panel of journalists provide unique insights and analysis that go beyond the headlines and give listeners the "inside" story on what they see and hear in the news.

    Subscribe to a Podcast of the show

    Broadcast Schedule

    Issues in the News is broadcast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.

    • Friday: 2330 UTC
    • Saturday: 1530 & 2230 UTC
    • Sunday: 0130, 0430, 0930, 1130, 1530 & 2130 UTC

    Meet our Moderators and Panelists

    • David Rennie: Washington Bureau Chief, The Economist
    • Tom DeFrank: Contributing Editor, The National Journal
    • Linda Feldmann: Washington Bureau Chief, Christian Science Monitor
    • Michael Williams: Contributor, CBS Radio News
    • Dan Raviv: National Correspondent, Israeli-based channel i24News
    • Laura Meckler: Staff Writer, Wall Street Journal
    • Oren Dorell: Foreign Affairs Reporter, USA Today
    • Paul Brandus: White House Correspondent, West Wing Reports

    Contact:

    Email: issues@voanews.com

    Facebook: CarolCastielVOA

    Twitter: CarolCastielVOA

    Postal Mail:
    Voice of America
    Issues in the News
    Washington, DC 20237 USA

      Let's Talk

      Let's Talk is an interactive discussion program about lifestyle issues. Sunday Shomari examines everything from African cuisine to cellphones. Sunday collects audience questions and comments via social media, and speaks with guests on the programs who share their experiences and opinions.

      Host Sunday Shomari hails from Tanzania. He was actively involved in theater and youth programs during his high school years. His journalism career started with stints at the independent Television and Radio One and the Tanzania School of Journalism in Dar es Salaam. Since 2008, Sunday has served as an International Broadcaster with VOA’s Swahili Service working on entertainment, youth and news programs. He joined the English to Africa service this year as the host of "Let’s Talk." Sunday’s hobbies include reading books, watching movies and playing soccer.

      Broadcast Information

      Mondays 1730 UTC/GMT

      Listen to a recent program MP3 | Windows Media

      E-mail
      letstalk@voanews.com

      Telephone
      +To leave a message for the program staff, call +1.202.205.9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 40 and then leave your message after the tone. Speak clearly and provide your name and location. We might use your message in our program!

      Postal Mail
      Voice of America
      Suite 1613
      330 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20237
      USA

      Middle East

      Middle East news from the Voice of America. Coverage of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Bahrain, and Egypt.

      Music Time in Africa

      Music Time in Africa is VOA’s longest running English language program. Since 1965, this award-winning program has featured pan African music that spans all genres and generations. Ethnomusicologist and Host Heather Maxwell keeps you up to date on what’s happening in African music with exclusive interviews, cultural information, and of course, great music -- including a weekly vintage recording from our digital Music Time in Africa Archive (MTIA Archive).


      Heather Maxwell is an ethnomusicologist and experienced music professional specializing in African music. Dr. Maxwell has published academic works on Malian music and the West African balafon. She is also a singer songwriter and has published recorded albums in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and the US. In addition to her regular weekend radio broadcasts, Heather curates the Music Time in Africa Facebook PageYouTube Channel and blog. Explore these platforms to engage with MTIA audiences and learn more about African music through exciting live performances, interviews with artists, in-depth reviews of music festivals, rare recordings and more.

      Schedule
      Friday 09:05-10:00 UTC/GMT
      Saturday & Sunday 09:05-10:00, 15:05-16:00, 20:05-21:00 & 22:05-23:00 UTC/GMT

      Contact Us

      E-mail
      musictime@voanews.com

      Telephone
      +1.202.205.9942, After the VOA ID, Press 70

      Postal Mail
      Voice of America
      Music Time in Africa
      Room 1613
      330 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20237
      USA

      Nightline Africa

      Nightline Africa highlights the latest issues and developments on the continent.

      Join host Pete Clottey and correspondents from Washington and across Africa as they offer in-depth interviews, reports analysis and features. Nightline also brings you African arts and culture, country profiles, sports, music and commentary by top African experts.

      Broadcast Schedule

      Saturday & Sunday
      1600 UTC/GMT with a repeat at 1800 GMT/UTC

      Listen to a Recent Program

      Saturday Show | Windows Media
      Sunday Show | Windows Media

      Nightline Africa also provides the listener, a chance to express yourself and be heard during our listener call-in segment.

      •  Do you have a comment on a news item we've aired?
      •  Do you have a point of view you'd like to express?
      •  Is something happening in your city or town?
      •  Do you have a message for us at the VOA, friends, family members, or other Nightline listeners?


      If so, call us and we’ll put your comments on the air.

      Contact Us

      Email
      nightline@voanews.com

      Telephone

      General: +1.202.203.4065
      When you hear the beep, leave your message!

      Postal Mail
      Voice of America - Suite 1613
      330 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC
      20237
      USA

      Our Voices

      Welcome to “Our Voices”. This is where African women bring the continent’s most pressing issues to the table. Hosted by Hayde Adams FitzPatrick and Auriane Itangishaka, we'll ask questions, share ideas, discuss solutions, and most importantly, bring voices - Our Voices - to the conversation.

      We’re bringing women’s voices to the conversation and, more than that, we’re building a community of inclusion and empowerment. We know you want to talk about the important issues of our time. And this is the place to do it. Your voice matters – every voice matters so join us in this conversation. Together, we can start transformational conversations online, in our living rooms, our communities, in our lives.

      People in America

      Artists. Public servants. Scientists. Immigrants. Innovators. Celebrities.

      “People in America” (PIA) profiles their amazing stories and showcases the diversity and individuality of American people.

      The series allows you to experience their journey through their voice. It captures the visual, sounds and textures that celebrate who they are and what they do best.

      Stories that personify democracy, self-sufficiency, expression and community.

      PIA will introduce people in America whose contributions enhance the fabric of America.Find out more about People in America.

      Plugged in with Greta Van Susteren

      Plugged in with Greta Van Susteren examines various aspects of United States policy by interviewing policy makers and having discussions with opinion shapers. After hosting news programs for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, Greta Van Susteren brings her interviewing skills and curiosity to VOA for a weekly 30 minute dive into America’s international relationships.

      Press Conference USA

      Join host Carol Castiel for this 30-minute weekly newsmaker program that provides listeners around the globe with information and insights on a wide range of topics spanning U.S. politics, foreign policy, global health, science and culture. 

      About Press Conference USA

      Carol Castiel hosts this 30-minute weekly newsmaker program that provides listeners around the globe with information and insights on a wide range of topics spanning U.S. politics, foreign policy, global health, science and culture.

      Subscribe to a Podcast of the show

      Broadcast Schedule

      Press Conference USA is broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.

      Saturdays: 0430 1130 1230 1730 1930 2130 UTC

      Sundays: 0330 1430 1800 UTC

      About Your Host

      Carol Castiel moderates and produces not only Press Conference USA but Encounter as well.  She also oversees the production of Issues in the News, VOA’s roundup of the week’s top stories by distinguished Washington journalists.

      Before joining the Voice of America, Carol was a consultant/freelance journalist specializing in the promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa. She was also a contributing editor to the London-based West Africa Magazine. Carol is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

      Contact:

      Email:  pcusa@voanews.com

      Facebook:  CarolCastielVOA

      Twitter:  CarolCastielVOA

      Postal Mail:
      Voice of America
      PCUSA
      Washington, DC 20237 USA

      Reporter's Roundtable

      On Reporters' Roundtable join host and journalist Douglas Mpuga, along with a lively panel of journalists, who analyze the week’s major developments in Africa.

      Ugandan-born journalist Douglas Mpuga heads a panel of journalists as it examines important issues and developments in Africa the past week.

      Listen to an in-depth analysis of the trends emerging across the continent. The discussion is lively, informative and thought-provoking.

      Douglas Mpuga joined VOA in 2001. Before joining VOA, he worked in Uganda for the national broadcaster, Radio Uganda.

      Schedule

      Thursday 1730 UTC/GMT

      Contact

      E-mail
      reporters@voanews.com

      Telephone

      To leave a message for the program staff, call +1.202.205.9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 55 and then leave your message after the tone. Speak clearly and provide
      your name and location. We might use your comments in our program!

      Postal Mail
      Voice of America
      Reporters' Roundtable
      Room 1613
      330 Independence Avenue,SW
      Washington, DC 20237
      USA

      Science & Health

      News about health, fitness, medicine and the latest discoveries.

      Shaka: Extra Time

      "Shaka: Extra Time" is a weekly show that appears live on the Straight Talk Africa Facebook page every Tuesday at 1730 UTC. In Extra Time veteran journalist Shaka Ssali answers questions from his social media followers about politics in Africa. VOA reporter Paul Ndiho hosts "Shaka: Extra Time."

      Silicon Valley & Technology

      Sonny Side of Sports

      Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports. Since the show's creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

      Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT.


      » Become a fan on Facebook: Chat with Sonny and meet fellow sports fans from around the world

      » Read the Sonny Side of Sports blog.

      Brighten your day by tuning in the Sonny Side of Sports!


      Schedule

      Monday-Friday
      1630 UTC/GMT
      1830 UTC/GMT

      Friday 30-minute program
      1700 UTC/GMT

      Contact Us

      E-mail
      sonny@voanews.com

      Telephone

      To leave a message for the program staff, call +1.202.205.9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 60 and then leave your message after the tone. Speak clearly and provide your name and location. We might use your comments in our program!

      Postal Mail
      Voice of America
      Room 1613
      330 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20237
      USA

       

      South & Central Asia

      VOA provides complete coverage of South and Central Asia.

      South Sudan In Focus

      Contact Us

      Email: sudanproject@voanews.com

      Telephone: 

      To leave a message for the program staff, call +1.202.205.9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 97 and then leave your message after the tone. Speak clearly and provide your name and location. We might use your comments in our program!

      Shortwave Frequencies
      9675, 11655, 13800

      Affiliate Stations

      Liberty 88.7 FM (Juba)
      Liberty 90.0 FM (Yei)
      Maridi 89.0 FM (Maridi)
      Yambio 90.0 FM (Yambio)
      V.O.P 97.0 FM (Juba)
      Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM (Bor)
      Bentiu FM 99.0/ MW 558 Kilohertz
      Radio Malakal FM 105 (Malakal)
      Radio Wau MW/AM 271 (Wau)

      South Sudan in Focus

      South Sudan in Focus

      StartUP Africa

       

      StartUP Africa is just who we are and what it is most important: our dreams about the Africa we are building.
      – Kimenyi Aimable, founder and CEO, Algorithm, Kigali, Rwanda

       

      Vision
      StartUP Africa is a ground-breaking television series that documents the effort to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world. This effort is led by young entrepreneurs, men and women, who are breaking stereotypes and building the future of Africa. The series celebrates and promotes diversity and the inclusion of sub-Saharan Africa as an integral and critical part of the future of the global tech industry.

      Production
      StartUP Africa is a multi-season business-themed TV series, which tells the stories of the challenges, hopes and fears faced by young tech entrepreneurs in Africa as they develop their startup from just an idea to a profitable business. Developed the year before the COVID-19 global pandemic, StartUP Africa takes viewers along a journey with the entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya — through the stages of founding a tech company, acquiring funding from early investors to venture capitalists, participating in business incubators, the local startup scene, and Africa’s entrepreneurial connection to the center of the tech world in Silicon Valley. 

      The series is produced as a co-production with the leading broadcast TV stations in Nigeria (Channels TV), Ghana (Citi TV), Rwanda (RBA), Uganda (NBS), and Kenya (KTN) giving it a unique and authentic view of the tech scene in Africa.

      Silicon Valley and Africa
      StartUP Africa’s mission is to be a culturally defining series that inspires a new generation of African entrepreneurs to dream and produce big — innovations, solutions, businesses, and job creation for the continent of Africa and the African Diaspora.

      The StartUP Africa series is part of the Voice of America’s commitment to reporting on high technology from its roots in Silicon Valley to Africa and around the world.

      Ruth Musoke Biyinzika Skills Development FacilityInterview with Ruth Musoke Biyinzika, Head, Skills Development Facility, Kampala, Uganda.

       

      Episodes
      StartUP Africa season one is comprised of six episodes.
      E-Pay - Season 1, Episode 1
      This scene-setter episode asks the questions, “What is a Startup?” and “What does ‘Starting Lean’ mean?” Through the lens of e-pay startups, episode one illustrates the problems that startups solve and the challenges of launching a new tech business.

      Ride Share - Season 1, Episode 2
      Through the challenges and victories of young African entrepreneurs, we learn how tech startups are launching ride-sharing businesses to address the problems of traffic congestion, safety, and cost of travel.

      Opportunity - Season 1, Episode 3
      Tech startups create opportunities for Africans across the continent. From the workplace to the educational and environmental ecosystems, we look at how tech startups change the way we learn, the way we do business, and the way we live.

      Farm to City - Season 1, Episode 4
      From Agritech, to moving goods across the continent, to fulfilling the African energy needs, young entrepreneurs push beyond limitations set before them to create innovative ways of using technology to make a better world.

      Health-Tech - Season 1, Episode 5
      Solving some of the most challenging health problems of the African continent, health tech startups are addressing problems ranging from access to medical care, infant and maternal mortality and rapid diagnostics, and consistent, convenient monitoring of critical health care needs.

      Rise UP - Season 1, Episode 6
      In the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns, we follow up with CEOs featured throughout season one. They share how coronavirus impacted their businesses, how they adapted, and what opportunities arose as a result of the pandemic.

      James Ndekezi Kwanda LabsJames Ndekezi, Co-founder of Kwanda Labs testing remote controlled robot in Kigali, Rwanda.

       

      Seasons
      The StartUP Africa series is comprised of five seasons.
      Season One -  Visionaries (6 episodes)
      We meet entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. We learn what problems their start-ups solve, what challenges they face, and what’s at risk.  Through the stories of the entrepreneurs, the audience begins to see how at no other time in world history has this much opportunity been available to people who might not have been raised in affluence or with access to traditional educations and career paths. Giving youth ideas for how they can make a profitable living, we paint a picture of the opportunities that exist in the tech sector.

      In the season Finale, we hear how the Coronavirus lockdowns impacted these start-ups. Skyping with those still under stay-at-home orders and conducting in-person interviews with those in countries where lockdowns have been lifted, we hear how they faced the challenges of lockdown, what they learned, and what the future looks like for their companies. The season finale ends with a cliffhanger that leaves the audience cheering for these entrepreneurs and wondering what new startups will have arisen from the opportunities created by a global tragedy.

      Season Two - Leadership (10 episodes)
      We begin Season 2 returning to the entrepreneurs profiled in the first season. We look at the leaders and the companies that survived, and their prospects for the future. How did their company survive the pandemic? How did they manage their companies through the hardships and opportunities of the crisis? Have they changed their business model and product, because of the pandemic? Has their financial situation including opportunities for investment changed, because of the pandemic?

      Season 2 introduces new entrepreneurs and companies founded in response to the crisis. We focus on the development of new technology and solutions that reflect the changing business opportunities and social realities of the post-coronavirus world.

      We ask the questions: How has the entrepreneurs’ vision for a startup changed due to the Coronavirus? Have these entrepreneurs changed how they staff and manage their company, because of the crisis? Have the entrepreneurs changed their leadership style and expectations due to the pandemic? Has the availability of financial investment for startups, whether from angel financiers to institutional investment changed due to the Coronavirus?

      Season Three - Mentorship (10 episodes)
      Season 3 is about paying back to where you started.  Season 3 is also when StartUP Africa starts to become more of a reality TV series, because of the drama created between entrepreneurs who are successfully contrasted against people who want to become successful tech entrepreneurs.

      The storyline for Season 3 is about the experienced entrepreneurs profiled in Seasons 1 and 2 acting as mentors to new entrepreneurs, but do not know how to begin. The new entrepreneurs will be either people who want to start their first tech company or people who have a traditional brick and mortar business but want to reinvent their business into a tech company. The mentors who are experienced entrepreneurs will be owners of successful tech startups.

      We will choose the experienced entrepreneurs with the strongest storylines and pair them with the founders of promising new business ideas. The experienced entrepreneurs will provide mentorship on how to start a tech business, giving advice from their own hard-won experiences, such as how to position their business for success, how to manage personnel, financial and market challenges, and how to avoid common startup problems.  We intend to document the process of how a mentor guides a tech entrepreneur.

      Season Four - Successful Failures (10 episodes)
      Season 4 follows the most compelling stories, and we see the more long-term benefits of the mentorship these entrepreneurs received in the previous season.

      Season 4 takes a hard look at challenges the StartUP Africa entrepreneurs are currently facing, lessons learned, and, perhaps, see some companies fall away and some thrive. This storyline of Season 4 underscores the value of failing as an entrepreneur. One of the season’s themes is why tech investors value very highly those entrepreneurs who have failed, even who have failed multiple times, over an entrepreneur with no experience starting a company.

      Season Five - Empowerment (10 episodes)
      Season 5 brings together the entrepreneurs with the strongest storylines who we have been following in the previous seasons and connects them with institutional investors from the United States, Europe, Africa, or Asia. This is the opportunity for the StartUP Africa entrepreneurs to compete on the highest level for financial support, product, and market relevance.

      We see how the StartUP Africa entrepreneurs respond to the increased scrutiny of their companies, surviving in a high-stakes environment, giving away ownership in exchange for substantial investment, and what will be done with additional resources. We hear why investors are willing or not willing to take risks with these companies.

      Ronald Hakiza UGABUSRonald Hakiza, Co-founder and CEO, UGABUS, being interviewed at the Jaguar bus terminal in Kampala, Uganda.

       

      Production and Partnership Training
      The StartUP Africa production team collaborated with our series co-production partners in Nigeria (Channels TV), Ghana (Citi TV), Rwanda (RBA), Uganda (NBS), and Kenya (KTN) to provide in-person training to producers, videographers, editors, and writers for the series.

      What have partner stations agreed to produce?
      Co-production partners produce up to three startup segments per month, with a commitment of 1-day of shooting, half-day scripting, 1.5 days editing for a total of 24-hours per startup package. That’s a total of 48-hours per co-production per month.

      How long is the training?
      The length of the training for a co-production partner is five days. The period allows enough time to train the production staff in the concept for StartUP Africa, the production process, and production, including arranging interviews with the startups, pre-production, shooting (principal photography), and post-production.

      This scenario provides a finished first draft of a segment ready for production notes from our team or a video that is close to finished for a final edit by our DC team.

      The status of the segments varies according to the co-production partner's capacity. Ideally, we want a rough cut. This includes the rough cut, the raw files, the Premiere production file (or XML equivalent), the production notes, interview transcriptions, and the interview details.

      What are the deliverables?
      Rough cuts, raw files, time codes, the Premiere production file (or XML equivalent), the production notes, interview transcriptions, and the interview details and supporting documents of the characters appearing in the segments. Requests for additional footage will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

      How will co-production affiliates support the training?
      Affiliate partners have agreed to provide a cohort of 9 to 12 producers and trainees, editing facilities for as many stories as will be produced during the week of training, and space for the training.

      What are the staff attributes that are needed to help be successful?
      A creative employee who wants to do more than news packages. Someone wanting to push their limits and learn new skills. An out-of-the-box thinker and doer with a curiosity to explore visionary entrepreneurship.

      Eunice Maina BismartEunice Maina (L), Founder and CEO, Bismart in Nairobi, Kenya collaborating with a co-worker.

       

      StartUP Africa Case Study
      Opportunity, Collaboration, and Partnership

      Summary
      This case study describes the concept, methodology, results, and analysis involved in the creation of a collaborative and co-produced television series between the Voice of America (VOA) and some of the leading television stations in Africa -- Nigeria (Channels TV), Ghana (Citi TV), Rwanda (RBA), Uganda (NBS), and Kenya (KTN).

      Partner stations and the VOA were interested in developing a ground-breaking television series that documents the effort to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world. The result of this interest is StartUP Africa.

      StartUP Africa is about effort led by young entrepreneurs, men, and women, who are breaking stereotypes and building the future of Africa. The series celebrates and promotes diversity and the inclusion of sub-Saharan Africa as an integral and critical part of the future of the global tech industry.

      Introduction
      The sub-Saharan media landscape presented a unique business and cultural opportunity for television stations and the VOA. The business opportunity was in response to the collapse of the OTT digital media channels in Africa which had difficulty acquiring paid subscribers. This situation forced content producers to reevaluate how they produced high-end television products. The cultural opportunity centered on the desire of both television stations and the VOA to create programming that reflected positive stories about Africa. StartUP Africa is the culmination of these business and cultural opportunities.

      Concept
      VOA wanted to develop a multi-season television series for broadcast and digital media in collaboration with some of the leading stations in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, the VOA wanted to determine if a television series could be produced by co-production partners located in different parts of Africa often with disparate audience, economic, and programming objectives.

      Methodology
      The methodology involved in-person training with media professionals at partner stations who had limited experience with television series. The primary method meant having VOA’s commitment to training almost 100 staff members ranging from producers, videographers, and editors to create StartUP Africa. A secondary method was to train staff both in the classroom and in real-time field exercises. A tertiary method was to target training to young men and women who are the next generation of media professionals in Africa.

      Results
      The result was season 1 of StartUP Africa. The co-production teams were able to deliver six of the planned ten episodes which was a significant accomplishment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, almost 100 people were trained to produce the series. Most were young men and women who represent the future of the media industry in Africa.

      Analysis
      The production team conducted a SWOT analysis of the training and the project. The determination was the production methodology was effectively based on the deliverables, station commitment to air the series, interest in developing a season 2, advertising sales, and audience reaction.

      Conclusion
      The partner stations and VOA were so pleased with the production process, the collaboration, and the quality of the product that they agreed to produce season two of StartUP Africa.

       

       

       


      Co-Production Leads
      Philip Ashon - Citi TV
      Kevin Kaija - NBS
      Victor Mathias - Channels TV
      Lilian Odera - KTN
      Jessica Opare-Saforo - Citi TV
      Co-Production Leads
      Nick Otieno - KTN
      Tuyisenge Revocat - RTV
      Sandister Tei - Citi TV
      Kingsley Uranta - Channels TV
      Ellen Wanjiru - KTN
      StartUP Africa, VOA Africa Division
      Steven Ferri - Director / Producer
      Laura Keel - Executive Producer
      Karina Choudhury - Editor / Producer
      Paul Ndiho - Senior Tech Reporter
      Scott Stearns - Managing Editor
      Rebecca Pujo - Production Assistant
      Todd Brown - Producer

       

      Straight Talk Africa

      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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      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.

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