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
"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

DanaPerino

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


DanaPerino

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

June 22nd, 2011

Opportunity to Meet with Frontline Reporters

Michael Meehan, Susan McCue & Dana Perino meet with VOA reporters Girmay Gebru, Meleskachew Ameha & Eskinder Firew to hear firsthand about their work and experiences.

June 22nd, 2011

We had a very full day and a warm welcome in Addis. The focus of our trip is to look for ways to increase VOA broadcasting in Ethiopia.

          — Dana Perino

Our hope is that we will be able to expand VOA broadcasting in the critical areas of development and health, especially maternal health. Healthy moms make for a healthy society.

          — Susan McCue

Ethiopia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world - more than 25,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications.

June 22nd, 2011

Road Trip to Yei, Sudan

Posted by Sonya Laurence Green

Sonya Laurence Green & Sudan in Focus co-host John Tanza

June 22 – Road trips can bring dangers old and new in southern Sudan.  Drove to Yei today, about 3 hours each way on a dirt road, with some of the Sudan in Focus team to hire a new stringer and cement an affiliate relationship there.  Along the way, we got the requisite flat tire (fixed quickly because journalists can be mechanics when they need to be) but that was the least of the risks.   This road was a key military route during the war, and we had to stop for awhile as a de-mining crew exploded some ordnance by the roadside, then we were allowed to pass.  No stopping to picnic or relieve oneself in the bushes — we held on until we got to town.

(John Tanza, VOA Sudan In Focus co-host & Alan Boswell, VOA Juba bureau chief)

But while the mines will eventually be cleared, a new danger looms: the beautiful, re-graded dirt road that provided a smooth surface has also encouraged speeding, and our new stringer in Yei told me that road accidents are epidemic now as buses and cars hurtle along at breakneck speed.  Soon enough, we drove past one old woman swaying in mourning on the roadside, then another, then saw the wreckage of a fresh bus crash from the night before – 5 people had died.  We met an old man whose daughter had survived the civil war only to die in this crash.  We gave him a ride to Yei, where he was to claim her body from the morgue and arrange her funeral.  He was silent and contemplative on the ride to town, while we considered how this may be one of the unfortunate byproducts of the badly-needed development finally coming to the south…


June 22nd, 2011

In our meetings with Ethiopian Government officials, we shared our goal of advancing an open and free press. We look forward to working with the government of Ethiopia.

          — Michael Meehan

June 22nd, 2011

Visiting a VOA Affiliate in Ethiopia

Posted by David Arnold

This afternoon we toured the new facility of Sheger FM, a VOA affiliate station in Addis Ababa. Governor Dana Perino & station co-owner Meaza Birru observed a live radio broadcast from the control booth. Sheger is one of 2 independent affiliates licensed in Ethiopia.

L to R: BBG Governors Susan McCue and Dana Perino, Sheger Co-owner Meaza Birru, and BBG Governor Michael Meehan

June 22nd, 2011

BBG Governors Meet with Ethiopian Ministers of Communication, Information

L to R: BBG Governors Susan McCue and Dana Perino, Minister Bereket Simon, and BBG Governor Michael Meehan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

BBG Governors meet today with Ethiopia’s Minister of Government Communications Affairs (and communications advisor to Prime Minister Zenawi) Bereket Simon to seek improved market access for VOA programming and advocate for greater freedom of the press.

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