VOA’s Africa division is celebrating the sign on of its first FM radio station in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The new station will serve Lubumbashi, located in the southeast portion of the DRC, near the border with Zambia. Lubumbashi is the country’s second-largest city, with a population of approximately 1.8 million people.
Voice of America will serve the area with programming from its French and Swahili services.
The BBG has secured licenses for three other cities in the DRC, including Goma and Kisangani.
The new station in Lubumbashi brings the BBG’s total number of sub-Saharan owned and operated FMs to 18, with eight different localized programming streams.
Cities in the larger network include Nairobi, Kenya; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; N’Djamena, Chad; Monrovia, Liberia; and Freetown, Sierra Leone.
More recent sign-ons have come in Dakar, Senegal; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Bujumbura, Burundi; and three cities in Mali — Bamako, Gao, and Timbuktu.
In addition to the owned and operated FMs, VOA distributes programming via an extensive network of hundreds of radio, television, and digital partners throughout the continent.
The BBG has plans to build additional stations as opportunities arise and funds become available.