UNESCO supports establishment of community radios in Zimbabwe

As the Zimbabwe community radios sector takes off, UNESCO has pledged to support the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and its partners to establish community radios (CRs) in remote areas. UNESCO has secured equipment for one model community radio to kick-start the growth of the sector.

The model community radio will be set up in disaster prone areas in Manicaland particularly areas hit by Cyclone Idai with funding from the World Bank Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP). In addition to procuring equipment, UNESCO will provide technical support and capacity building trainings to support community radio practitioners.

To date, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has licensed six CRsNtepe-Manama Community Radio Trust, Mbembesi Development Trust and Nyangani Community Radio Trust, Shashe Community Radio Broadcasting Association, Avuxeni FM,  and Lyeja-Nyayi Development Trust.  BAZ has also  awarded six academic institutions compass broadcasting licences to the National University of Science and Technology, Lupane State University, Great Zimbabwe University, University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University and Harare Polytechnic College.

UNESCO has procured the first set of equipment, which will be handed over to a CR in Chimanimani area. Capacity building and installation training will be provided when the equipment is handed over so that the newly established CR will begin operations. BAZ and Transmedia conducted an assessment of the equipment procured by UNESCO and it meets the required standards and specifications for Zimbabwe.

A community radios site survey is set for end of May to Chimanimani for UNESCO, Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services, BAZ and Transmedia to assess proposed transmitter sites. The site visits will include community mobilization and engagement with the locals in preparation for establishment of CRs in the area.

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