Radio Sawa launches FM broadcast in Mauritania

(Springfield, Va.)— Today Mauritanians woke up to a new voice on their FM dials. Radio Sawa launched its Mauritania stream bringing objective and relevant news and information along with a compelling mix of popular Arabic, African and Western music to the people of Mauritania.

“This is a great step toward expanding our presence in North Africa,” said Brian Conniff, President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) which manages and operates Radio Sawa. “Mauritanians now have convenient access to Radio Sawa’s remarkable coverage of  Mauritania, North Africa, the Middle East, the U.S. and the world.”

A crowd watches a brightly lit outdoor stage at the opening of the FM

This Radio Sawa station was built specifically for the Mauritanian market. In addition to objective news and information, Radio Sawa airs programs relevant to young Mauritanians such as Sawa Magazine, Ask the World Now, Free Zone, the Mauritania-specific interactive Sawa Chat and Poetry Jam. Poetry Jam gives the people of Mauritania the opportunity to express themselves by reciting one of their favorite poems in Arabic including local dialects, and French. The creation of Poetry Jam and expanding the Radio Sawa playlist to include African music was based on research conducted with young adults in Nouakchott.

Recently, Radio Sawa reported on the Presidential election in Mauritania, the debate within Mauritania over the use of religious emblems during the election, the Mauritanian President rejecting demands by the opposition to form an interim government to prepare for the election and slavery in Mauritania.

Earlier this week, Radio Sawa was awarded the Gold Medal for Best Coverage of a Breaking News Story at the 2014 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for its coverage of the Egyptian clashes that led to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.

The Sawa Mauritania stream transmits from Nouakchott and will be available on the radio dial at 93.8 FM.

In addition to Mauritania, Radio Sawa broadcasts on FM in Morocco, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Djibouti. Radio Sawa broadcasts on medium wave to Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria.  The radio networks can be heard on MBN is financed through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency funded by the U.S. Congress.  The BBG oversees MBN and acts as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.