Somali-Language Radio, A Missed Opportunity?
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US embassy cable - 05DJIBOUTI908

Somali-Language Radio, A Missed Opportunity?

Identifier: 05DJIBOUTI908
Origin: Embassy Djibouti
Created: 2005-09-13 11:11:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

State for AF, AF/E, AF/PD; Casablanca for David Strawman 
Transmitting Station Tangier 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
SUBJECT:  Somali-Language Radio, A Missed Opportunity? 
1. (U) SUMMARY: Recent conversations with Djiboutian youth 
have revealed their marked preferences for receiving 
information in a traditional news format via radio and 
their heavy reliance on BBC Somali for their world and 
regional news. This information has important implications 
for methods of news delivery in the Horn of Africa and 
underscores the unexploited opportunity available to the 
U.S. through Somali language radio programming. END SUMMARY 
2. (U) The topic at this week's Post-sponsored English 
conversation groups has been "How do Djiboutians get 
their information?" An overwhelming majority of the 
participants said that they prefer a news format to 
"softer" formatting techniques such as music or theater. 
In addition nearly all of the participants said 
that they spend at least 10 hours per week listening 
to BBC Somali. 
3. (U) When discussing how people without radios 
get their news, students said that word- of-mouth 
most certainly plays a role in the districts, the 
regions of Somaliland and Ethiopia that they visit 
for holiday, and the poorer areas of the city, but 
that much of that word-of-mouth also comes from BBC 
Somali. Local newspapers and television also play 
a lesser, but notable, role. 
4. (U) The Post-sponsored English language 
conversation groups continue to be a great 
success in Djibouti. The groups are currently 
active in five English night schools throughout 
the city and six more schools are on a wait list. 
About 130 youth ages 16-25 participate in the 
groups each week and discuss civic topics with 
native speakers from the Embassy and US military. 
The Embassy also provides copies of VOA Special 
English articles or transcripts to each of the 
students on subjects related to the conversation 
topic. The groups continue to be important aspect 
of PD's hearts and minds campaign and a venue for 
sharing the US message while simultaneously 
providing important insights into Djiboutian 
culture and attitudes. 

Sh Xasan Ibraahim muxaadaro heesaha iyo Islaam
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