MISA Zambia for a strong, vibrant and sustainable community media – Speech

Speech by MISA Zambia National Director Austin Kayanda on the occasion of the democratic/social accountability workshop held at Cresta Golf View Hotel in Lusaka on 4th and 5th November 2015.

It gives me pleasure to officiate at this workshop for community radio stations which I am informed is on democratic & social accountability.

First and foremost, may I take this opportunity to congratulate the ten radio stations that have been selected as partners under MISA Zambia’s community voices and good governance programme. Therefore, the reason why we are here today is to introduce the selected stations to the basic concepts of good governance.

Under this partnership, the selected radio stations will be receiving quarterly grants as support towards the production of weekly good governance programmes. This is not a typical media advertising or sponsorship business transaction in which the advertiser causes the radio station to broadcast certain information, to the benefit of the advertiser, in exchange for payment.

On the contrary, MISA Zambia is in agreement with the existing values and missions of community radio stations to promote good governance and development in all areas including crosscutting issues of gender and HIV/Aids.

Based on this common ground of values between MISA Zambia and the community radio stations, MISA Zambia provides funding to strengthen the existing capacity in community radio stations in order to promote citizen participation, dialogue and access to information on issues of governance, gender and HIV/aids. It is MISA Zambia’s belief that this is a vital role in strengthening democracy and accelerating development.

The grant from MISA Zambia is a contribution towards the cost of running and sustaining the production and broadcasting of the programmes. This is in an effort to ensure that stations continue playing this important developmental role. It does not necessarily constitute the entire cost involved but it is a contribution to supplement the efforts of the community radio stations.

In short, this is a partnership between MISA Zambia on one hand, and the community radio stations on the other, to combine resources to carry out these programmes.

It is our hope that initiatives such as these will enable ordinary citizens to utilise the community radio stations to participate in the governance and development of their communities and the country.

As you maybe aware, 2016 is an election year. You have the responsibility to ensure that people are informed so that they can make the right choices. The media must play a meaningful role at each stage of the electoral process. During this time, radio stations must encourage people to register as voters so that they can participate in voting next year.

May I also urge you to also start thinking of producing issue based programmes that are aimed at evaluating the performance of those in government in order for the people to judge how well they have done against their own promises and manifestos while at the same time interrogating the policies and manifestos of those aspiring to be in government.

Our goal as MISA Zambia is to see a strong, vibrant and sustainable community media that continues to facilitate citizen participation in governance and democratic accountability for sustainable development.

With these few words, I would like to urge the participants to take this workshop seriously and actively participate over the two days.

I thank you.
Austin Kayanda

National Director

About MISA Zambia

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.