Washington, D.C. — February 15, 2012 — Canada's large Somali diaspora community can now listen to the latest VOA Somali broadcasts on their phones. The new "call-to-listen" service is part of a growing partnership between Voice of America and AudioNow, a mobile distribution provider.
The VOA Somali Service, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week, is available in Canada on any phone, 24 hours a day, by simply dialing the number posted on the VOA website.
The Director of VOA's Africa Division, Gwen Dillard, says a similar service introduced in Great Britain last year has been extremely successful. "The Somali diaspora community is an important audience for us," Dillard says, "they have strong ties to Somalia, and are interested in what is happening in their troubled homeland. Our goal is to provide them with accurate and up-to-date news and information."
As the service celebrated its 5th year of broadcasting to Somalia on Sunday, a statement from VOA Director David Ensor noted VOA Somali has become one of the country's most respected news sources. "A recent survey shows that 73% of people in the regions that were polled, listen each week to the news and information the service offers, a sign of the trust that the Somali audience has placed in us. We look forward to many more years of serving our audience in Somalia," Ensor said.
Last year, VOA and AudioNow also inaugurated new "call-to-listen" services in Guinea and Liberia. AudioNow's proprietary, patent-pending technology allows any fixed or mobile phone to access live audio programming across all mobile platforms.
VOA has been providing comprehensive coverage of the ongoing unrest in Somalia, and the East African country's recovery from the devastating drought that affected the region last year. VOA programs are broadcast to Somalia on radio, television, the Internet, mobile (click here) and an array of social media sites.
Via Yimber Gaviria, Colombia