June 28th, 2011
After their announcement of the new VOA Africa Health Network, BBG Governors Meehan, Perino, and McCue return from Nigeria today.

After their announcement of the new VOA Africa Health Network, BBG Governors Meehan, Perino, and McCue return from Nigeria today.

June 27th, 2011

Meeting at French Embassy, Abuja

Posted by Joan Mower:

Meeting at the French Ambassador’s residence.

L to R: French Ambassador Jean Michel Dumond, Susan McCue, U.S. Ambassador Terence P. McCulley

June 27th, 2011

Abuja Town Hall/Announcement on VOA Africa Health Network

Posted by Joan Mower:

Dana Perino gave the keynote speech at a Town Hall meeting on “The Role of International Broadcasters in Supporting Health Development in Nigeria” in Abuja at the Transcorp Hilton. The Town Hall was a joint project between VOA and Radio France Internationale (RFI), and the two organizations pledged to work together on training and improving access to health care across the country. Perino announced that VOA is in the process of creating an Africa Health Network, which will leverage all the health information from VOA Africa Services and ensure that health coverage is deeper across the continent. Maternal health is a key issue, she said.

The group then went to the French Ambassador’s residence where they discussed cooperation between the entities.

Later, the group met with Nigeria’s Vice President Namadi Sambo, who said he was a big fan of VOA’s and listened every day to the Hausa Service. He also said that his wife and he were very interested in seeing education improved in Nigeria. Sambo said he took many of his first lessons from a Peace Corps volunteer and has had a fondness for the United States ever since. He also pledged to look into ways of getting more broadcasting for the VOA on FM.

U.S. Ambassador Terence McCulley hosted a reception for the governors. He gave his strong support to VOA – and particularly to health reporting.

VOA and RFI also hosted a workshop for reporters on how to use social media to cover health subjects more comprehensively.

June 27th, 2011
"If the Nigerian population is weakened by health and disease, development can’t be achieved."
- Terence P. McCulley, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria
June 27th, 2011

"If you have a healthy Mom, the chances are you are going to have healthier children and and more development."

- Dana Perino, in Abuja, Nigeria, announcing VOA’s new Africa Health Broadcasting Network

June 27th, 2011


Kids at Abuja wanted bikes. @michaelpmeehan and I in car saw bikes for sale. Now negotiating. #usib http://yfrog.com/kiaqytvj


4 bikes, a dangerous u-turn, and a crowded vehicle, @michaelpmeehan and I on way to deliver! #usib http://yfrog.com/kjrcqzj

June 27th, 2011

Abuja Children’s Home

Posted by Joan Mower

On Sunday, the governors flew to the capital of Nigera, Abuja. The city has broad streets and there is a lot of construction underway. It is a planned city and became the capital about 20 years ago, in December 1991. First thing, Governors Perino and McCue visited an orphanage — the Abuja Children’s Home.

Their visit is in keeping with the theme of today’s Town Hall on how the media can help health and development in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. The orphanage, which is supported by NGOs and Churches, has 40 children between the ages of 2 month and 20 years. The U.S. Embassy gave the playground equipment to the orphanage and the Rotary Club dedicated one of the hostel.

BBG Governor Dana Perino at the Abuja Children’s Home.

BBG Governor Susan McCue with residents of the Abuja Children’s Home.

Sunday night, the BBG met with VOA affiliates and others who came to Abuja to discuss ways to provide more news, information, features to the Nigeria people.

June 27th, 2011

Off to Nigeria

Click here for an overview of the BBG’s agenda. More posts to come!

June 27th, 2011

Reception at Roosevelt House

Ambassador Donald booth in Ethiopia had a reception for the BBG on Saturday night at his house, which is called Roosevelt House, on top of a hill in Addis. The house was given to the US in 1944 when Haile Selassie, the emperor, gave it to FDR. The house is decorated with artwork from Ethiopian and American artists. Leading journalists and educators, including the head of the Addis Ababa University School of Journalism, attended.

June 25th, 2011

Last Day in Juba - Roads Closed

June 25 - Last day in Juba, Southern Sudan after a fruitful trip.  However, all roads are closed in town this morning as security forces conduct house-to-house and room-to-room searches for potential weapons.  They want to ensure a safe independence day celebration on July 9, but it has put a crimp in our plans to get to the airport and fly out on schedule. Thanks to the U.S. Embassy for their help with everything during the Governors’ visit, and thanks to the VOA Juba bureau team for their incredible work organizing the Town Hall.

Sonya Laurence Green


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