Danoffice supports UNESCO’s efforts to build capacity in local community radio stations in Rwanda
6 September 2016, Kigali – UNESCO’s project "Empowering Local Radios with ICTs" supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is aimed at building capacity in the four local community radio stations in Rwanda: Radio Huguka, Radio Isangano FM, Radio Ishingiro FM and Radio Izuba FM. To do so, the project involves a series of workshops related to improving programming quality, providing training on the use of ICTs, and helping individuals to increase their geographical range of news coverage within a network of correspondents. It strives to bridge the gap between poor people - especially women and girls - and the public debate on issues of local public concern. It also focuses on marketing strategies and financial sustainability of the radio stations.
Activities are designed in a way to be sustainable and participatory; creating knowledge that will remain longer than the period of the project itself. Assuming this approach, it is necessary to understand and be deeply involved with the radio stations' modus operandi and community. In Rwanda the four participating radio stations are located in different contexts including busy urban centres as well as in remote rural settings where problems of inconsistent electrical supply remain. Due to this variety, the first stage of the project was to carry out research about the community and the local radio stations, getting information on the community listening habits, issues of local public concern in areas of health, agriculture and one another relevant area for the community. To date 67 correspondents from the four Rwandan radio stations have benefited from a number of training topics.
To further strengthen radio stations’ capacity to fulfil their mandates to inform and engage the public effectively, however, Danoffice IT has donated laptop computers to each station so that correspondents and other radio staff have the ICT tools they require to be effective. This is an important element to ensure that the project’s objectives are achieved and not missed due to inadequate ICT. Mr. Edouard Firmin Matoko, UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Africa, thanked Danoffice IT for this donation assuring them that the equipment will be used to obtain concrete results in Education, Culture and Communication and Information. According to Mr. Matoko, “The UNESCO firmly believes that its accomplishments could not have been possible without strong partnerships, and UNESCO is looking forward to future opportunities to work together.”
The handover ceremony was attended by representatives of the four Rwandan Community Radio Stations: Brigitte Umwamariya (Radio Huguka), Jerome Rwasa (Radio Isangano FM), Ildephonse Sinabubariraga (Radio Ishingiro) and Dany Richard (Radio Izuba FM). Eugene Ndekezi represented the Rwanda Community Radio Network, while the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) was represented by Mr. Clement Kirenga. UNESCO attendees included Mr. Edouardo Firmin Matoko, Assistant-Director General, Mr. Mohamed Djelid, Director, Regional Office for Eastern Africa, and Mr. Peter Wallet, Programme Coordinator, Antenna in Rwanda.
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