The BBC is starting radio programmes for three new language services in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The launch is part of the BBC World Service’s biggest expansion since the 1940s.
The new radio programmes are in the Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya languages and will be available via short wave, satellite and online.
The programmes will be a rich mix of local and international news and will also feature sport, culture and business as well as English language learning.
The media is restricted in Ethiopia and Eritrea and so the new BBC radio programmes aim to provide a much needed source of independent news and analysis.
In September, the Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya services launched websites and Facebook pages.
However, internet penetration is extremely low in both countries. So radio plays a vital role and is for now the best means of reaching the potential audience of over 100 million as well as the sizeable population in the diaspora.
This is all part of a the BBC World Service’s expansion drive and includes content in Pidgin, Yoruba and Igbo for Nigeria, a Korean service and four languages in India.
The initial shortwave broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT will be on three transmitters providing coverage across Ethiopia and Eritrea:
Repeat to follow at 18:30 GMT
Radio content will go out on the following channels:
Arabsat (BADR4) – 11.966GHz, Horizontal
NIlesat 201 -11.843GHz, Horizontal
Hotbird 13D – 12.597GHz, Vertical
The evening satellite broadcast will go out at 17:30 GMT and will be repeated until 21:30 GMT.