Zimbabwe’s Avuxeni Community Radio Station goes on air

The Government of Zimbabwe has so far licensed 14 community radios with Avuxeni FM being the first to go on air.  Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services officially opened the community radio station on Sunday 13 February as part of Zimbabwe’s World Radio Day 2022 activities in Chiredzi. The community radio station will broadcast in the Shangaan language, which is the dominant language spoken in the Lowveld. 

Speaking during the commissioning of the community radio, Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa said, “The licensing of these radio stations will enhance access to information by communities by making sure their voice is heard in shaping the development narrative. As a Ministry, we are aware of the capacity challenges facing the new community radio stations and we continue working round the clock, with our various partners, such as UNESCO to ensure that the licensed community radio stations are equipped and become operational.

She said community radio stations are considered the medium of the people, by the people and for the people and thus have a significant role to play in communication. The Minister highlighted the importance of radio stations and said establishment and operationalization of Avuxeni community radio station is a huge step towards achieving the objectives and outcomes of Vision 2030. 

As a growing sector, community radios are facing capacity challenges and the Government of Zimbabwe reinforced its commitment to continue working round the clock, with various partners, to ensure that the licensed community radio stations are equipped and become operational.

Establishment of community radios in Zimbabwe is an important step to serve information needs of marginalised communities. UNESCO is supporting the establishment of model community radios in disaster prone areas in Chimanimani and Chipinge through provision of equipment through funding support from the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) funded by the World Bank and UNOPS. Additionally, the radio stations will serve as a part of early warning systems for disasters such as cyclones.

UNESCO will continue to support the government and media stakeholders to train community radio volunteers and enhance their skills so they can broadcast and address the needs of the communities they serve.