VOA Launches Health, Business Shows in Burundi

Washington, D.C.  — Two new interactive VOA radio shows in Burundi are giving a voice to young entrepreneurs and providing up-to-date information about the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the central African country.

The half-hour Kirundi language programs are produced in Burundi and broadcast from the VOA studios in Washington.

On the first edition of the new show “Tujahe,” young entrepreneurs and those interested in job creation in Burundi were able to share their experiences and get advice from business expert Pierre-Claver Nduwumwami. “Tujahe,” which airs on Sundays, is hosted by Olivier Nkengurutse and Diane Ndonse.

VOA Central Africa Service Chief Robert Daguillard says, “We see ‘Tujahe’ as an opportunity for young Burundians to discuss not just business and entrepreneurship, but also what makes it so difficult to create jobs in Burundi, a country with fertile land, good schools and good roads.”

The other new show, called “Kira,” focuses on the HIV/AIDS crisis, which Burundi’s government has identified as one of the most serious health issues facing the country. On the first edition of the program, Burundian physician and HIV/AIDS expert Anita Munyana answered listener questions with program hosts Alain-Yves Irankunda and Edwige Mbominmpa. The show, which airs on Saturdays, also features reports from the field, audience trivia questions and music by Burundian artists.

VOA Director David Ensor says, “We hope these programs serve the needs of our audience in Burundi by providing an interactive space for discussion and debate. Voice of America is uniquely suited to the creation of programs like these, which utilize local talent and provide up-to-date information about subjects of critical importance.”

The programs are partly funded by grants from USAID and the State Department. They are broadcast on shortwave, FM, and on the Internet.

VOA’s Central African Service, which broadcasts to the Great Lakes region in the Kirundi and Kinyarwanda languages, was created in 1996 and has covered Rwanda’s post-genocide recovery, the conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi’s civil war.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at kking@voanews.com. Visit the main VOA webpage at www.voanews.com for links to all of our language services. An online version of this release is available at www.insidevoa.com.

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 141 million people.  Programs are produced in 43 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail us at askvoa@voanews.com. Follow us on Twitter @VOABuzz and Facebook at InsideVOA.