jeudi 20 septembre 2007

Rural radio: creating conditions to cement its place in African development

By: Koda Traoré; Oumy K. Ndiaye

The extraordinary recent advances in digital communications have brought with them major socio-economic transformations. One of these is in the management and communication of techniques and knowledge for development.

For ACP countries in general, and Africa’s member states in particular, radio is still, however, the most effective method of communication and information dissemination and as such plays an essential role within ACP rural communities. Technological advances in rural radio therefore bring with them hope and increased expectations for the many independent radio broadcasters and their rural listeners.

However, the progress seen in some countries is not mirrored in all, for a variety of reasons. Presented here is an analysis of the issues surrounding the development and use of radio throughout Africa, which presents the greatest challenge of all. First, though, a clear definition is provided for what is commonly called ‘rural radio.’ The way that rural radio is used in Africa, and the socio-economic, technological and regulatory contexts that currently make up rural Africa’s radio landscape are also sketched out.
Finally, attention is drawn to the role of policy-makers and supporting bodies such as CTA in producing favourable conditions for the development of low-cost radio networks, including facilitating the use of new ICTs.
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