In support of freedom of information and expression in Mauritania, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and Télédiffusion de Mauritanie (TDM) have announced an agreement for media cooperation to include FM broadcasting, journalism training, and technical assistance to improve Mauritania’s media infrastructure.
Consistent with the accord, signed on June 6, Mauritania has awarded the BBG two FM frequencies for the country’s capital of Nouakchott. BBG plans to launch Radio Sawa broadcasts from Nouakchott in the coming months.
“The BBG welcomes the opportunity to assist Mauritania in its media development and to serve the Mauritanian people, particularly youth, with news and programs that meet their specific needs,” said Bruce Sherman, BBG’s Director of Strategy and Development.
William Sabatini, Radio Sawa’s general manager, added: “Our initial soundings among our target audience of Mauritanian students and young professionals show there is a need for accurate and objective news; as well as information about health, education, culture and interactive elements that are currently not available in the marketplace.”
While in Nouakchott, Sherman and Sabatini met with the Mauritanian Minister of Communication and Relations with Parliament Mohamen Yahya Ould Hormah and U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania Jo Ellen Powell.
Recent surveys by international research companies show that Radio Sawa has a weekly reach of 15 million adults across the Middle East and North Africa. Radio Sawa is operated by the non-profit corporation, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency. The BBG provides oversight and serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.