Manicaland communities in Zimbabwe drive establishment of own community radio stations
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” This is evident in the Manicaland communities of Zimbabwe as members work together towards the establishment of their own community radio stations despite the Covid-19 challenges.
Working with the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) is supporting the establishment of the stations through the Word Bank funded Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP).
Chimanimani, Chipinge and Nyanga districts are all set to have their own community radio stations and work has since commenced and is at different levels.
In Chimanimani and Nyanga, existing building structures have been converted to media centers that will house the new radio stations. Transmedia, the broadcasting signal carrier, will provide their existing broadcasting towers in these districts to shelter the transmitter and antenna systems.
The Garahwa community members have been relying on accessing the Mobitel network from neighboring Mozambique, as there are no Zimbabwe network service providers in the area. According Transmedia Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rufaro Zaranyika they are working towards the establishment of transmission facilities in the area.
UNESCO ROSA Advisor for Communication and Information Mr. Al-Amin Yusuph said the community radio stations would need to be capacitated to become sustainable.
As part of the community radio stations development, UNESCO ROSA engaged Perch Media Trust to train community radio personnel on the essence and sustainability of community radios.
UNESCO and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services are set to handover broadcasting equipment to the radio stations on 27 September 2021 as part of this year’s International Day for Universal Access to Information.