Saturday, July 14, 2012

BBG On The Ground: DRC – Radio Remains King in Heart of Africa

Back from heading up a series of workshops and training sessions in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, the BBG’s Joan Mower reports on a recent Voice of America success, as well as the media landscape in DRC…

VOA’s novel health program, Votre Sante, Votre Avenir (Your Health, Your Future) aired for the first time last month on state-owned Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC), providing millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo with information about the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“Health is the Number One issue in the provinces,” said Nestor Kabongo, RTNC’s director of programs, adding the show will be translated from French into local languages so more people can hear it.

In DRC, a vast country about one-fourth the size of the United States, communications remain a challenge. That’s why it was a big win for VOA to place its health show on the state-owned radio reaching 80 percent of the country.

Radio is the way most people in this poor country of more than 73 million people get their news and information. RTNC has a country-wide network as does Radio Okapi, the U.N.-funded independent radio network that provides news to people across the country. Okapi, supported by private foundations as well as the United Nations, broadcasts in several local languages. Community radio networks, often with a limited reach, are also important in DRC.

International broadcasters such as VOA, the BBC and Radio France International (RFI) also provide news and information to the DRC on shortwave and FM.


(Source : BBG Strategy)

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