Voice of America (VOA) Somali Service 88.0 FM (Hargeisa) / shortwave 13580, 15620 and 1431 kHz
Relay via local radios: 88.0 FM (relay via Radio Mogadishu in Mogadishu); 88.8 FM and 90.0 FM (relay via Radio Kulmiye in Mogadishu); 88.0 FM and 88.8 FM (Radio Daljir in Puntland)
Voice of America Somali Service was originally launched in 1993 and stopped service within a year. The Service was re-launched in February in 2007. Along with the BBC Somali Service, it is the most popular and trusted radio station in Somalia. The AU/UN IST survey conducted in Oct/Nov 2013 across AMISOM 4 sectors found that on average VOA Somali was the second most listened to radio (54% listenership daily) and the second most trustworthy (about 72% trustworthiness) across 4 sectors. The AU/UN IST survey conducted in November 2012 across AMISOM 4 sectors found that of the sixteen radio stations pre-coded in the survey, VOA Somali Service was the second most popular radio station in South/Central Somalia (“ever listened to”) and the fourth most frequently listened to.
The station headquarters are located in Washington, USA. This station broadcasts in the entire country on shortwave on 13580, 15620 and 1431 kHz and on medium wave from powerful transmitters in Djibouti. In addition, VOA broadcasts in English and Somali from its own FM transmitter in Hargeisa on 88.0 FM. The VOA Somali Service is also rebroadcast on FM by several radio stations in Somalia although not all are official relay partners. Radio stations that relay VOA programmes on FM include: Radio Muqdisho, Radio Kulmiye, Jubba Radio, Radio Dalsan, and Star FM in Mogadishu – Sector 1 / Radio Baidoa in Baidoa – Sector 3 / Radio Beledweyne in Hiiran region and Radio Dhuusamareeb (unofficially) in Galgaduud – Sector 4 / Radio Galgaduud (non-official) (Guriceel town) and in Galgaduud region – Sector 4 / Radio Abudwaq (Abudwaq) in Central Somalia / Radio Daljir, and Radio Garowe in Puntland. Programmes are also streamed on the internet through the VOA Somali Service website.
The VOA Somali Service broadcasts news, entertainment programmes and talk-shows from studios in Washington on shortwave four times a day at the following times: 06:30, 16:00, 19:00 and 20:00. The VOA Somali Service has introduced short interviews with Somalis in different parts of Somalia and the world. The VOA’s network of correspondents is wide and VOA journalists can be found across Somaliland, Puntland, and southern Somalia. Similar to the BBC Somalia Service, the VOA Somali Service has faced challenges operating on the ground, particularly in southern Somalia. Al Shabaab has banned local stations from broadcasting VOA or BBC, accusing them of violating Islamic law and using pro-western information. Along with BBC, the VOA Somali Service is one of the most popular and trusted international broadcasters in Somalia. VOA Somali has the highest listenership in all VOA Language Services.