At least 18 million people listen to community radios in Mozambique, with the largest numbers of listeners concentrated in the two most populous provinces of Nampula and Zambezia.
This is one of the conclusions from a study of community radio undertaken by the Community Information and Communication Support Centre (CAICC). This is a project based at the Eduardo Mondlane University Computer Centre, working on the promotion of information and communication technologies for the development of the districts.
Cited by the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the coordinator of the study, Lazaro Bamo, said that to attain its results the study mapped the location of all existing community radios and plotted the radius of the areas they could cover.
The study concluded that the radios reach 5.6 million people in the northern provinces, 5.9 million in the centre of the country, and 4.4 million in the south. In numerical terms, Nampula leads the way, with 18 community radios broadcasting in the province.
The main objective of the study was to ascertain to what extent the community radios are useful to the country, and how they can be used to promote community development.
“With the exact location of the transmitters, and the radius over which they can be heard, we can gauge how many citizens are covered by these radios and make use of them”, said Bamo.
He added that it is important to alert local institutions that the community radios are valid partners, and that therefore the information they request must be made available to them.
The radios usually depend on volunteer labour, and the study noted the lack of incentives for the volunteers. Women who work on the radios find that often they receive no support from their husbands or other members of their families.
“Women doing this work face barriers”, said Bamo, “because it is unpaid, which means that their families do not encourage them. Some women broadcast, with their husbands sitting at the studio door so that, as soon as the programme is over, they take them home”.
In addition to estimating the number of people covered by the radios, the study also presented results on the quantity and relevance of the contents made available by CAICC itself, and the relevance and use of the district and provincial websites.