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                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Gaborone, Botswana)
For Immediate Release                                     March 29, 1998


Radio Democracy for Africa

President Clinton announced today his intention to establish this year a new radio broadcasting service for Africa. Radio Democracy for Africa will be a division of the Voice of America and will broadcast an additional 22 1/2 hours per week of programs focused primarily on the promotion of democracy and human rights throughout the continent.

The Need for a Free Press

Democracies and market economies flourish where there is a strong free media to provide accurate news and information. State-run media are the norm in much of Africa; accompanying such media are often biases and positions of the prevailing political party of in some cases, repressive regimes. As yet, many media corporations in the United States and Europe do not yet see Africa as commercially viable. Further, radio is the medium of choice in Africa.

Reporting on Democratic Transformations

Radio Democracy reporters will focus on reporting statements by politicians and political leaders of various orientations. Because of the repressive media climate in some countries, foreign reporters will now be able to cover such stories without fear of reprisal.

Conflict Resolution

Radio Democracy will focus on promotion of conflict resolution by covering reconciliation efforts and such events as the Arusha Tribunal.