BBC's Indian Ocean relay station marks 20th anniversary

The BBC’s Indian Ocean relay station is commemorating 20 years of transmissions from Grand Anse, Mahé, in the Seychelles. Launched in October 1988, and currently run on behalf of BBC World Service by VT Communications, the station is transmitting BBC World Service programmes on shortwave to an estimated audience of up to nine million listeners across East Africa.

The BBC Indian Ocean relay station in the Seychelles broadcasts BBC World Service in a range of languages including the BBC’s English-language output for Africa as well as programmes in Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Somali and French.

It brings the BBC’s radio output to audiences in countries such as Burundi, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Nigel Fry, Head, Transmission and Distribution, BBC World Service, says: “The BBC Indian Ocean relay station constitutes the backbone of the BBC’s shortwave broadcasts to East Africa. In many areas of the countries it covers, the shortwave broadcasts relayed by the station are the only way in which audiences can get BBC news and information.”

To commemorate the anniversary, VT Communications will be holding a series of events in the Seychelles.These include an Open Day exhibition on Monday 6 October, which will highlight the history, operations and the safety aspects of the station.

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