Zongwe.OnAir project

Access to information by the rural communities of the Zambezi valley district of Sinazongwe in Zambia is still a very big challenge. Just like on the Zimbabwean side, national radio and Television reception in this area is very poor. Newspapers also rarely reach the area as it is over 100km off the main high way linking Lusaka and Livingstone. Newspaper vendors find very little persuasion to develop the Sinazongwe route. Privately run electronic media is also not available in the whole district except at Maamba mine, over 80km from the local population of Sinazongwe district. This situation makes it very difficult for the remote communities to participate in the democratic processes of the country. Since 2006 the Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association (AZFA) has responded to these challenges by assisting in the implementation of an ICT project at Sinazongwe Basic School, in partnership with Basilwizi Trust as well as with support from HIVOS. In 2007 some volunteers from Free Radio movement in Austria have stepped in to establish a Radio studio and to train some aspiring community members in broadcasting. This ICT4D and community radio project is now part of a wider education and culture support program of Basilwizi Trust and aims at ensuring the community takes part in national issues through information, educational and cultural promotion.

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