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Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 00:43:55 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <>
From: Rich Winkel Subject: Africa: Econews Africa

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** Topic: Africa: Econews Africa **
** Written 3:44 PM Jan 18, 1996 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
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/* Written 10:42 AM Jan 18, 1996 by apic in */
/* ---------- "Africa: Econews Africa" ---------- */
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Community Media Affirmed as Tool for Development

Statement by NGO Participants. Econews Africa, Vol. 4, no. 20, December, 1995

Media practitioners, NGO representatives and development experts from more than 15 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and beyond met in Nairobi, Kenya from 13-16 November 1995, to formulate strategies for raising awareness about community broadcasting as well as other community media as key agents for development and social (improvement) change. The 4-day meeting was hosted by EcoNews Africa which coordinates the East African Community radio inititive and the Kenyan Chapter of the African Council for Communication and Education (ACCE). The following were the workshop's aims, to:

At the end of the deliberations and sharing of experiences, the workshop adopted a concrete Action Plan towards achieving the above objectives. The gathering affirmed that:

With these principles in mind, the workshop called upon governments in Eastern and Southern Africa to:

In particular, the gathering expressed concern at the slow pace of deliberations into legislation conducive to independent broadcasting in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and other countries of Eastern and Southern Africa where broadcasting is a state monopoly.

The group called on such governments to shed light on ongoing policy deliberations, share information with the potential actors in community media as well the beneficiaries, and speed up processes already in train to deregulate broadcasting.

A full report of the Workshop will soon be made available. We will also publish an analyis of the situation of community media in the Eastern and Southern Africa in future issues of EcoNews Africa.

Contact Wangu Mwangi, EcoNews Africa for information on the full report.


A Kenyan Caucus formed during the Community media workshop for East and Southern Africa announced the formation of the Kenya Community Media Network, KCOMNET.

KCOMNET attracted Communications, Training and Research institutions, NGOS involved in community development, other civil society groups, interested individuals and media practitioners. KCOMENT will meet its objectives by networking with members, affiliates, government and international bodies to ensure that community media resources are tapped for the benefit of the communities themselves.

Towards this end, the network outlines the following as its immediate and pressing objectives.

To this end, KCOMNET will support policies and legal processes that recognise and support the development of community radio stations alongside private, commercial radio stations and other independent broadcasts.

KCOMNET will respond to the challenge made by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting at the opening of the workshop, when he stated that of the 19 television and 32 radio license applications awaiting approval, none is community-based. The newly formed network is pleased to note that that the government acknowledges the crucial role community media can play in the development of Kenyan people.

Members urged the government to institute processes that will lead to the development of community media devoid of economic political and legal bottlenecks. They urged the government of Kenya to implement the 1991 Kericho proposals contained in the document "Information Policy for Kenya", the final draft of which was prepared by UNESCO.

EcoNews Africa is an NGO initiative that analyses global environment and development issues from an African perspective and reports on local, national, and regional activities that contribute to global solutions.

EcoNews Africa is a joint project of the Africa Water Network (AWN), Climate Network Africa (CNA), the Environment Liaison Center International (ELCI) and the International Outreach Program of KENGO. It is supported by the Humanistic Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS) and NGONET based in Montevideo, Uruguay. Editing and production of this issue: Susan Odede, Wagaki Mwangi, Wangu Mwangi, Samuel Mutinda and Mercy Wambui. Thanks to Miles Goldstick for assistance on the EcoNews World Wide Web site.

The views expressed in the features do not necessarily reflect those of EcoNews Africa or of its member organizations and donors. Reproduction of the material contained in the "features" is encouraged with acknowledgement of source.

Postal Address: EcoNews Africa, P.O. Box 76406, Nairobi, Kenya. Visitors: 1st Floor, No. 27 Uchumi Road, Off Ole Shapara Avenue, Nairobi South "C". Tel. +254-2-605127. Fax. +254-2-604682.

Email addresses: OR OR

EcoNews Africa is also available on electronic conference at and locally at It is available on the following URL on the World Wide Web: www: http:/