UNESCO-supported Nyangani FM set for official launch

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Hon. Kindness Paradza and the UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Lidia Arthur Brito visited Nyangani FM 99.5MHZ in Manicaland Province to assess progress of the community radio and its preparedness ahead of going on air on Monday 18 April. The community radio station will be officially launched in May 2022.

Nyangani FM is one of the three community radio stations in Manicaland Province established with UNESCO’s support under the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) funded by the World Bank and managed by UNOPS. The stations are meant to give communities a voice and provide community early warning messages especially in times of disasters such as Cyclone Idai that hit the province in 2019. Support from UNESCO has included provision of broadcasting and production equipment and technical training.

Speaking during the tour of Nyangani FM, Deputy Minister Paradza emphasized that the station belongs to the community and should thus articulate their issues.

The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to ensuring all 14 licensed community radio stations become operational and serve their communities.

Deputy Minister Paradza added that the national broadcaster – the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Coorperation (ZBC) is willing to provide free training for volunteers to support Nyangani community radio.

The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services is working on media reforms to ensure Zimbabwe continues to develop and advances towards media pluralism. The Broadcasting Act is currently under amendment and proposed changes include allowing Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to issue licenses annually.

Another significant change proposed under the amendments for the Act is the provision for foreign investors to be allowed to invest in the media (up to 40%).

In her remarks, Prof. Brito assured the Nyangani FM of UNESCO’s continued support to Nyanga Community and ensure the sustainability of the station for the benefit and development of the people of Nyanga.

The community members shared their needs regarding the radio broadcast signal shadows and other issues limiting the work that the community radio intends to do. Hon. Paradza assured the community that these issues will be addressed to make sure the radio station is well prepared for its official launch in May. The meeting also emphasized on the importance of ongoing training for content creation as well as regular maintenance of equipment so that the radio remains sustainable for the development of the Nyanga community.

 

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