Thursday, 9 February 2012

[creative-radio] The Soul Beat 191 - Radio in Africa - February 8 2012

The Soul Beat 191 - Radio in Africa
February 8 2012

From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to
AFRICA's social and economic development

In this issue of The Soul Beat:

* Discussing the ENVIRONMENT AND LIVELIHOODS on air...
* More information on WORLD RADIO DAY...
* HEALTH RADIO for child nutrition and malaria...
* SUSTAINABILITY of community radio stations...


Next week, February 13 is World Radio Day which is being celebrated to
raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to
information through radio, and enhance networking among broadcasters.

In celebration of this day, this issue of The Soul Beat newsletter includes
a selection of summaries from the Soul Beat Africa website that look at how
radio is being used in Africa to promote awareness and discussion about
peace and democracy, environment and livelihood issues, and health. In
conclusion, it looks at some of the challenges and solutions to ensuring
the sustainability of community radio stations in Africa.

If you would like your organisation's communication work or research and
resource documents to be featured on the Soul Beat Africa website and in
The Soul Beat newsletters, please send information to

To subscribe to The Soul Beat, go to or send an email to with a subject of "subscribe".


To view this edition online go to:



1. School Parliament Program - Angola
Launched in 2009, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is working to foster a
culture of democracy and civic engagement in Angola by involving youth in a
School Parliament Program. The civic education programme includes face to
face activities, dialogues, and debates among students and with government
leaders, as well as community radio and television broadcasts. SFCG is
using its weekly radio programme Baza Madie to provide information on
democracy, governance, and participation to a broader youth audience beyond
the student participants in Luanda. The programme spotlights different
emerging themes in the projects, sharing them with young people of diverse
backgrounds across Luanda.

2. Pan Africa Radio Platform - Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia
The Pan Africa Radio Platform is an Africa-wide community radio network
linking radio stations in Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia at local and
national levels, to produce and exchange programmes on development issues.
Launched in July 2011 by Panos Eastern Africa, with support from the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation, the three-year pilot project is designed to
break down linguistic barriers between rural communities across Africa,
while improving their communication with decision makers. Radio programmes
produced by stations involved in the network will be uploaded, along with
scripts, to the Pan Africa Radio Platform web portal. Stations in other
countries and regions, both those part of the network and others, will then
be able to adapt and translate the programmes.

3. L'Equipe (The Team) Radio Series Burundi - Intamenwa
Broadcasting from June to September 2011, L'Equipe (The Team) in Burundi
was a 32-part serial radio drama using a football storyline to promote
non-violence and reconciliation amongst young people. Two television spots,
a music contest and concert, and messages by politicians calling for peace
and unity complemented the radio series. The series is a local adaptation
of a multi-national drama initiative being undertaken by Search for Common
Ground (SFCG), which is designed to use sport as a unifier to transform
social attitudes and diminish violent behaviour in countries dealing with
deeply rooted conflict in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

4. A National Conversation: Mid-Term Review
By Mary Myers
This report, published in 2011, shares findings from a mid-term review of
"A National Conversation", a 5-year project implemented by the BBC World
Service Trust (BBC WST) - now called BBC Media Action. The aim of the
project is to enhance media's capacity to cover governance issues by
increasing transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in media
in Angola, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. According to the mid-term review,
the quality of the work has been good and the progress to date has been
fairly good. The report notes that the BBC WST has taken on an ambitious
task and is delivering an innovative and, at times, highly sensitive
project with commitment, hard work, attention to high standards, and

5. Applying Local Solutions to Local Programs: Radio Listeners as Agents of
By Karen Greiner
This report, published by the United States Agency for Development (USAID)
in October 2010, documents the results of a two-month field research
evaluation in Niger and Chad on the media component of the Peace Through
Development (PDEV) programme under the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism
Partnership (TSCTP). The report notes that the programme content rarely
addresses issues around counter-terrorism specifically, but by
strengthening "civic culture", the programmes improve the quantity and
quality of citizen participation and democratic expression and create a
platform for moderate voices, directly achieving PDEV project goals.

6. Akahise Kadasorongoye: Transitional Justice Radio Project - Burundi
Launched in October 2011 by Radio La Benevolencija, the Akahise
Kadasorongoye (An Unfinished Past) project is working through and with
media to facilitate debates about Burundi's Truth and Reconciliation
Commission, as well as work to help encourage the population to reflect on
the country's history. Through a series of radio documentaries, newspaper
articles, and publications, La Benevolencija seeks to present different
versions of history, without claiming to present a complete and final
picture. As part of the project, La Benevolencija will train and facilitate
a network of radio journalists to report on and encourage dialogue about
the reconciliation process. Each programme reflects on a single year of
independence and focuses on what happened during that particular year, up
until 2012 when Burundi celebrates 50 years of independence.



For knowledge and resources on D & G and communication, visit Soul Beat
Africa's new Democracy and Governance Themesite here

Soul Beat Africa has also developed a D & G networking space for
organisations working in D & G in Africa to share information, network,
build partnerships, and collaborate. Please join by registering here and ticking the box for the
"Soul Beat Africa: Democracy and Governance Network".



7. Barza - Africa
Launched in October 2011, BarzaRadio is an online social network designed
especially for African radio broadcasters, which seeks to increase the
extent to which rural radio helps African small-scale farmers meet their
food security, farming, and livelihood goals. Users can connect and share
farming and broadcasting-related content, resources, and expertise, as well
as work together to co-develop programmes. The project is an initiative of
Farm Radio International, with support from the Technical Centre for
Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and the International
Development Research Centre (IDRC), in collaboration with Digital4Good.

8. Environment Toolkit for the Media
By Hailemariam Mesfin
This toolkit, published by Panos Ethiopia in 2010, is designed to support
media coverage on environmental issues in Ethiopia by providing a quick
reference on contemporary environmental issues. It starts with a brief
description of what climate change is and explains its cause and the
consequences. The toolkit touches on some of the steps that have been taken
by the international community to combat climate change and minimise its
effects, including a number of protocols and accords. It also includes
information about managing natural resources, such as forests, water, land,
minerals, and energy resources, as well as information on biodiversity in
Ethiopia and its challenges.

9. Radio Biso na Biso ("Between Us") - Congo-Brazzaville
Launched in March 2009, Radio Biso na Biso (BNB) is a community radio
station created to help bridge communication gaps between people living
throughout the forest area of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), and
the company which manages it. The station, located in Congo-Brazzaville, is
a collaborative effort between The Forest Trust (TFT), CIB, and partners,
with additional financial support from the Foundation Chirac and World Bank
Development Marketplace. The station broadcasts to the forest region of
northern Congo, on 88FM, and works to raise awareness concerning the
conservation of resources and also inform people about their rights and
health issues.

10. The Role of Community Radio in Livelihood Improvement: The Case of
Simli Radio
By Seidu Al-hassan, Alhassan Andani, and Abdulai Abdul-Malik
This case study, published by Field Actions Science Reports, discusses
Simli Radio's contribution to livelihood improvement in the Tolon-Kumbungu
and Savelugu-Nanton Districts of the Northern Region of Ghana. Simli Radio
is a community radio station established in 1996 under the Ghanaian Danish
Community Programme (GDCP), an integrated rural development programme. The
case study explores the station's use of broadcasting as an educational
tool, to promote traditional culture, facilitate communication and
information sharing, and enhance entertainment and income promotion.
According to the case study, Simli Radio has improved awareness and
knowledge of solutions to community development issues such as culture,
rural development, education, hygiene and sanitation, agriculture, and
local governance.

11. Community Listeners' Clubs: Stepping Stones for Action in Rural Areas
This publication summarises the unique experience of the community
listeners' clubs set up in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo by
FAO-Dimitra and its partners. According to FAO-Dimitra, it is a unique
experience because in a short time, these clubs succeeded in promoting
social mobilisation of both women and men, as well as dialogue,
collaboration, and action on the part of rural communities, especially
women. In this process, community radio is used as an information and
communication channel, encouraging a flow of information and communication
that places people at the centre of interactions.



For more information on World Radio Day, go to



12. Under the Mango Tree Radio Project
Under the Mango Tree combines recorded community-based discussions with
national radio broadcasts to communicate information about health problems
and solutions in Uganda. The radio programme is part of the AFFORD
Initiative, a five-year programme "that uses innovative marketing
approaches to improve Ugandans' health." To produce the show, community
members gather in an outdoor public site. With the help of a moderator and
health professional, the community discusses issues around one of AFFORD's
supported topics. The live sessions are recorded and edited into 30 minute
radio segments. Each episode is translated and broadcast in five languages.
Listeners provide feedback by calling a toll free hotline with questions
and comments about the show, and frequently asked questions are selected
and answered in 45 second radio spots.

13. Mieraf (New Beginning) Radio Drama - Ethiopia
Broadcasting from June 2010, Mieraf (New Beginning in Amharic) is a serial
radio drama designed to promote the importance of health extension workers
and encourage people to use their services, while also raising awareness of
health issues, including maternal and child health, use of family planning,
malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, and hygiene and sanitation.
Produced by the Population Media Center, the drama airs twice weekly and is
followed by discussion and interactions with health extension workers. The
storyline focuses on Hibist, a 21-year-old girl living with her family in a
rural village in Ethiopia.

14. Bushes that Grow Are the Future Forest Radio Series - Zambia
In January 2010, the United States Agency for International Development's
(USAID) Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project supported the
Zambia Ministry of Health to develop a 13-part radio series, Bushes That
Grow Are the Future Forest, as part of a behaviour change communication
strategy to improve infant and young child nutrition practices. The
programme encourages good infant feeding practices and addresses common
barriers to exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding for children
during the first two years of life. The campaign follows Sister Loveness, a
health worker, as she travels around the country to hospitals, mothers'
club meetings, and markets, teaching families how to prevent malnutrition
in their children.

15. São Tomé and Principe Integrated Malaria Materials: It's Worth the
C-Change, an initiative of the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), produced a set of flyers, posters, and radio spots
designed for parents and health workers on malaria prevention and treatment
in Sao Tome and Principe. The materials focus on promoting the use of
insecticide treated nets, spraying, care-seeking, and drugs/treatment



For more information on radio, go to the Soul Beat Africa Community Radio



16. Voices from Villages: Community Radio in the Developing World
By Mary Myers
Published by the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) in April
2011, this report discusses the expansion of community radio in the
developing world, explores the reasons for this expansion, and outlines
constraints and challenges facing the sector. The report states that
international aid agencies are showing increasing interest in community
media's ability to inform and empower, and more governments are
acknowledging the contribution of community media to education, public
health, and economic development. However, major challenges for community
radio include economic survival and sustainability beyond donor and
non-governmental organisation support, as well as threats to freedom of
expression, especially in authoritarian and fragile states.

17. M-Dedications - Kenya
Community radio stations in Kenya are using mobile technology as a way to
generate revenue, using an M-Dedications system that allows listeners to
record and pay for on-air radio messages via mobile phones. The four-month
pilot project was launched by Internews, in partnership with the mobile
banking system MobiKash and a network of community radio stations in August
2011. The M-Dedications system uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and
mobile banking to enable listeners to call and record a message to their
local radio station, paying a nominal fee for the broadcast with one phone
call. MobiKash is an mWallet service that can be linked to any bank account
or mobile provider that participates in mobile banking.

18. The Sustainability of Community Broadcasting in Namibia: As Assessment
and Plan of Action
By David Lush and Gabriel Urgoiti
Published by Friedrich Ebert Foundation's Africa media programme in August
2011, this report explores the sustainability of community radio and
television stations in Namibia with regards to ownership, finances,
production, audience, policies, and administration. Station sustainability
was evaluated based on community ownership, control, participation, service
delivery, and station independence. According to the report, the
sustainability of community stations in Namibia remains precarious,
negatively impacted by factors such as low community participation,
financial difficulties, and a lack of training necessary to produce quality
programming in tune with their audiences.

19. Liberia Community Radio Case Study: The Sustainability Myth
This document summarises the findings of Search for Common Ground (SFGC)
research into community radio station sustainability and the role of
communities in five Liberian towns. According to the document, published in
2009, despite the proliferation of community radio stations in Liberia,
their potential to create participatory democracy has not been utilised
fully as a partner in the development process. The self-limiting definition
of media that focuses on traditional press and urban-based radio stations
providing news is one contributing factor, while another is the myth that
community radio is not sustainable. The research found that all interviewed
stations had achieved some level of sustainability, which was most
effectively attained by building community ownership. Those that received
national development funding were more likely to broadcast for the public
good versus their more commercial counterparts.



We would love to get your feedback on some of the knowledge shared in this
newsletter. At the bottom of each webpage you will see a star rating option
as well as a comments form. Please rate the content and/or let us know
what you think by sending a brief comment through the comments form. Your
feedback will be greatly appreciated and will help us to better support
your work.



The Soul Beat 179 - Radio and Television Dramas

The Soul Beat 170 - Radio for Social Change in Africa

The Soul Beat 148 - Soaps for Social Change

The Soul Beat 147 - Media for Development in Africa

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