7 Reasons Why Radio is Important to Africa
In a world filled with mobile phones, tablets and computers people often ask us, “Why radio”?
Radio goes where newer technologies can’t. Beyond electricity, beyond a mobile signal. Beyond literacy. It’s the most effective way of delivering information in most remote corners where having the right knowledge can mean the difference between a harvest and hunger, between feeling confident or humiliated, or even between life and death.
Radio Reaches the Most Number of People
Radio remains the most used mass-communication medium in Africa with the widest geographical reach and has the greatest audiences compared with the Internet, television and newspapers. In Tanzania, 83% of adults surveyed said they get news and information from radio, as did 89% in Kenya. When adding an MP3 recording feature, people need never miss a broadcast.
Radio is Informative and Educational
Programs are broadcast in local languages – whether it’s nutrition information for mothers, medical updates for health workers, conservation farming for farmers, or school lessons for children.
Radio is Democratic
It reaches rich and poor alike. Educated. Uneducated. Young. Old. Every tribe, every region, each gender and race.
Radio is Trusted
Africans trust news and information on the BBC World Service, and local and community radio stations. People often refer to the voices on the radio as their “friends”.
Radio is Life-saving
People turn to radio first when disaster strikes. Survivors need to find lost loved ones, access food, shelter or medical aid. It provides psycho-social support to those traumatized. Information is aid.
Radio is Portable
People can listen to radio anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to be plugged into mains electricity.
Radio Doesn’t Run Out of Air Time or Data
Who needs a phone package, when you have radio? Radio is free. Always and forever.