In a unique inter-regional initiative, the UNESCO Chair on Community Media at University of Hyderabad (UoH) conducted a three-day workshop in Arusha, Tanzania on strengthening capacities for community radio for about 25 stations from five counties in the region.
The Chair team, consisting of Prof. Vinod Pavarala and Faculty Fellows, Dr Kanchan K. Malik and Vasuki Belavadi, from the university’s Department of Communication worked with the East African Community Media Network from October 5-7, 2015 to validate and adapt the Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit (CR-CIT)developed by the Chair. The project, supported by the International Programme on Development Communication (IPDC) of UNESCO and its regional offices in East Africa, attracted participation from community radio stations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. The toolkit is already widely used in India and also adapted in Bangladesh.
Ms. Zulmira Rodrigues, the Country Representative of UNESCO in Tanzania and Mr. Liberat Mfumukeko, the East African Community (EAC) Deputy Secretary General, who spoke during the inauguration of the workshop, reiterated the significance of community radio and pledged their support to promoting this sector in the EAC region. Recalling the words of Julius Nyerere, the founder of independent Tanzania,”While they were trying to reach the moon, we were trying to reach our villages,” Prof. Vinod Pavarala reiterated that community radio was a tool for reaching out to the rural, marginalized and indigenous communities and for them to gain access to media spaces.