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Radio key to communication in Africa PDF Print E-mail

By Aaron Kirunda Co-founder and CIO enjuba | Uganda

Radio is a very effective ICT4D tool, mostly in two ways; mobilisation and education.

From my experience in starting and managing two Radio stations one in Kampala and another in Nakaseke, I learnt first hand how Radio could be utilised to rally people behind a cause and thereafter educate or raise awareness about particular issues.

 

In rural areas, specifically where access to information is rare, what is communicated on the radio is taken as gospel truth. I used to hear conversations among the rural folk saying things like, "it was on the radio" or “they said this on the radio." In this regard, the radio is established as such an authority and people tend to believe what is said, and therefore it acts as an effective mobilisation tool.

 

 

This in effect, means that to have effective development programs on the Radio, there is need for deliberate effort and mindfulness during the development process of Radio programs. How these Radio programs are developed and arranged, the type of content that is aired and the time it is aired will determine the popularity of the Radio and it's effectiveness on development.

 

Closely associated with mobilisation is raising awareness. Once people are hooked to the Radio, then it becomes easier to raise awareness on particular issues and get their buy in.

 

In the case of Nakaseke and Musana FM, we developed programs that attracted people to listen, and so grew our listenership exponentially. Once we had achieved a wide listenership, we started to encourage people to get back to work, to ask themselves what they have done for their country rather than what their country has done for them. We spoke about three core values of hard-work, integrity and responsibility. These programs encouraged and challenged several people to get back to work. We had testimonies of people who had stopped their business and restarted again. We witnessed communities re-organise themselves and leverage the resources they had to reach their full potential.

 

Through the use of the Radio, we were able to mobilise and raise awareness of development issues in the Luwero Triangle Region and we saw significant transformation.

 

Radio is indeed a very key ICT tool for development.

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