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Amateur radio call signs in Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amateur radio call signs in Africa are codes used to identify all radio communications, broadcasts and transmissions. The International Telecommunication Union assigns Africa as ITU region #1. It has assigned call signs prefix blocks to countries including 77 DXCC entities in and off-shore of Africa. Western Sahara is not a DXCC entity but uses SØ as a prefix.

Amateur radio or ham radio is practised by operators holding nationally allocated call signs in African countries or foreign administered territories and other nations or DXCC entities. Call sign allocation from the International Telegraph Union is administered by national political authorities and international mandates.

Call sign blocks

The following call sign blocks are used for all radio communication, broadcasting or transmission:[1]

CQ Zone 33/northwest Africa, European territories

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs[2]
3V, TS Tunisia 53
7R, 7T–7Y Algeria 94
CN, 5C–5G Morocco 453
CQ3, CQ9, CR3, CR9, CS3, CS9, CT3, CT9 Madeira Is. (Portugal) 408
AM8, AN8, AO8, EA8–EH8 Canary Is. (Spain) 3,693
AM9, AN9, AO9, EA9, EB9. EC9, ED9. EE9, EF9, EG9, EH9 Ceuta (Spain) 771
AM9, AN9, AO9, EC9, ED9 Melilla (Spain) incl. in Ceuta
IG9 & IH9 Pelagie, Pantelleria (Italy) ??
Western Sahara 32

In Morocco CN8 is for residents, CNØ is for visitors. SØ for Western Sahara is an unofficial prefix, not issued by the ITU.

CQ Zone 34/northeast Africa

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
5A Libya 22
ST, 6TA–6UZ Sudan 46
Z8 South Sudan ??
SSA–SUZ, 6AA–6BZ Egypt 113

Sudan further subdivides its call signs thus (with possible changes due to the 2011 independence of South Sudan): ST2 Khartoum and its region, ST3 Wad Madani, central region, ST4 Al Ubayyid, Kurdufan region, ST5 Kassala, eastern region, ST6 Port Sudan, northeast region, ST7 Ad'Damir, northwest region, ST8 Al'Fashir, Darfour region, and ST9 Malakal, central-south region; Wau, Bahr-al-Ghazal region.

CQ Zone 35/west coast (northern) central Africa

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
3X Guinea 46
5N–5O Nigeria 152
5T Mauritania 1
5U Niger 38
5V Togo 49
6V–6W Senegal 137
9G Ghana 121
9L Sierra Leone 62
C5 The Gambia 2
D4 Cape Verde 26
EL, 5L–5M, 6Z, A8, D5 Liberia 127
J5 Guinea-Bissau 45
TU Côte d'Ivoire 108
TY Benin 46
TZ Mali 52
XT Burkina Faso 59


Senegal further subdivides its prefixes thus: 6W1 Dakar, 6W2 Ziguinchor, 6W3 Diourbei, 6W4 St. Louis 6W5 Tambacounda, 6W6 Kaolack, 6W7 Thies, 6W8 Louga, 6W9 Fatick and 6WØ Kolda.

Liberia further subdivides its prefixes thus: EL1 Grand Bassa, River Cess, EL2 Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi, EL3 Sinoe, EL4 Maryland, Grand Kru, EL5 Lofa, EL6 Grand Gedeh, EL7 Bong, EL8 Nimba, EL9 Grand Cape Mount, and ELØ for Novices and Club Stations

CQ Zone 36/west coast (southern) central Africa

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
3C Equatorial Guinea 29
3CØ Annobon Is. (Equatorial Guinea) 9
9I–9J Zambia 89
9O–9T Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) 62
9U Burundi 18
9X Rwanda 32
D2–D3 Angola 42
S9 São Tomé and Príncipe 50
TJ Cameroon 39
TL Central Africa Republic 45
TN Republic of Congo 27
TR Gabon 90
TT Chad 62
ZD7 St. Helena (UK) 49
ZD8 Ascension Is. (UK) 52

Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) further subdivides its call signs thus: 9Q1 – Kinshasa, 9Q2 – Bas Congo, 9Q3 – Bandundu, 9Q4 – Equateur, 9Q5 – Province orientale, 9Q6 – North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, 9Q7– Katanga, 9Q8 – Oriental Kasai, 9Q9 – Occidental Kasai, and 9QØ – Reserved

CQ Zone 37/east coast mainland Africa

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
5H–5I Tanzania 199
5X Uganda 56
5Y–5Z Kenya 145
7O Socotra (Yemen) ??
7Q Malawi 95
C8–C9 Mozambique 98
E3 Eritrea 15
ET, 9E–9F Ethiopia 39
J2 Djibouti 82
T5, 6OA–6OZ Somalia 39

For Eritrea only contacts made November 14, 1962, and before, or May 24, 1991, and after, count for this entity.

Tanzania further subdivides its prefix thus: 5H1 – Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, 5H2 – Arysha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, 5H3 – Pwani, Dar es Salaam (including Mafia Island), 5H4 – Morogoro, 5H5 – Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, 5H6 – Iringa, 5H7 – Mbeya, 5H8 – Kigoma, Rukwa, Tabora, 5H9 – Ziwa Magharibi, Mwanza, Mara, Shinyanga (including Ukerewe Islands), and 5HØ – Dodoma, Singida.

Somalia further subdivides its call signs according to the province of issue: 6OØ indicates the license was issued in Puntland, Northern Somalia, and; 6O1 is issued in Southern Somalia.[3]

CQ Zone 38/southern Africa

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
3DA Swaziland 101
3Y Bouvet (Norway) 12
7P Lesotho 98
A2, 8O Botswana 100
V5A–V5Z, V51, V52 Namibia 170
Z2 Zimbabwe 121
ZD9 Tristan da Cunha & Gough Is. (UK) 15
ZR–ZU, South Africa 9,696
ZS8 Prince Edward & Marion Is. (South Africa) 7

South Africa

South Africa further divides its call signs thus:[4][5][6][7]

  • ZS1 Western Cape Province
  • ZS2 Eastern Cape Province
  • ZS3 Northern Cape Province
  • ZS4 Free State Province
  • ZS5 Kwazulu-Natal Province
  • ZS6 Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northwest and Limpopo provinces
  • ZS7 Antarctica
  • ZS8 Marion Is
    • ZU Designates an entry level licence
    • ZR Used to designate a restricted licence but has been merged into the unrestricted class together with ZS and follows the same region numbers as above
    • ZT Very rarely used only for contest stations
    • ZSLnnn call sign is allocated to 'Shortwave Listeners'.[8]

CQ Zone 39/Africa off-shore, Indian Ocean

Call sign block DXCC Entity Approx. # call signs
3B6,7 Agalega & St. Brandon Is. (Mauritius) 14
3B8 Mauritius 123
3B9 Rodrigues Is. (Mauritius) 15
5R–5S, 6X Madagascar 93
D6 Comoros 25
FH Mayotte (France) 51
FR/G Glorioso Is. (France) ??
FR/J,E Juan de Nova, Europa (France) ??
FR Reunion Is. (France) 237
FR/T Tromelin Is. (France) ??
FT5W Crozet Is. (France) ??
FT5X Kerguelen Is. (France) ??
FT5Z Amsterdam & St. Paul Is. (France) ??
S7 Seychelles 86
VKØ Heard Is. (Australia) 35
VQ9 Chagos Is. (UK) 80

History of call sign allocation

The call sign allocation history of mainland Africa and off-shore islands is complex and related to the colonial status of European powers in the early-20th century period. Call signs changed in relation to various independence movements, particularly following World War II and in the 1960s.

International Radiotelegraph Conferences

The conference held in 1927 assigned call prefixes to Morocco (CNA–CNZ), Egypt (SUA–SUZ), Republic of Liberia (ELA–ELZ), Ethiopia (ETA–ETZ), and the Union of South Africa (ZSA–ZUZ). These, however, did not necessarily include amateur radio operation.[9] African areas administered politically by colonizing countries (i.e. Great Britain, Portugal, France, etc.) adopted call signs issued to those countries for colonial purposes.

The 1947 Atlantic City ITU Conference reallocated call sign blocks to African countries and European colonies according to this table.[10]

1947 Call sign block 1947 Country or Colonial power
CNA–CNZ Morocco
CQA–CRZ Portuguese colonies
DNA–DQZ Belgian Congo
ELA–ELZ Republic of Liberia
ETA–ETZ Ethiopia
FAA–FZZ France and its colonies
HWA–HYZ France and its colonies
IAA–IZZ Italy and its colonies
THA–THZ France and its colonies
VPA–VSZ British Colonies
XXA–XXZ Portuguese colonies
ZBA–ZJZ British Colonies
ZQA–ZQZ British Colonies
ZRA–ZUZ Union of South Africa
3VA–3VZ France and its colonies

See also


  1. ^ International Telecommunication Union country call sign assignments Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Call sign divisions listed by prefix
  3. ^ "8. Somalia and Somaliland ham radio callsigns - Somalia ham radio". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  4. ^ Hepburn, William. "Call signs". Dx Info Centre. Dx Info Centre. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  5. ^ "International Call Sign Series". National Association of Amateur Radio. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Call sign database by QRZ". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  7. ^ "South African Call Book". South African Radio League. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. ^ ZS Zones
  9. ^ "International Radiotelegraph Conference (Washington 1927)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  10. ^ International Telecommunication Convention Atlantic City 1947 Archived July 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
This page was last edited on 27 April 2020, at 02:18
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