The Challenges to Financial Sustainability of Projects Based in Rural Communities –The Case of Community Radio Voice of Bagamoio in Maputo Mozambique
The Challenges to Financial Sustainability of Projects Based in Rural Communities –The Case of Community Radio Voice of
Bagamoio in Maputo Mozambique
Regarded as one of the poorest countries on the planet, with one of the lowest per capita incomes, and with its social fabric seriously damaged by decades of armed conflict, Mozambique today is one of the few African countries which, once peace was obtained, has rapidly become a genuine model of democratization, including in the area of freedom of expression and press freedom.
In this area, there is a remarkable and growing dynamism in terms of setting up and managing mass media, particularly radio stations, with the involvement of the communities.
The emergence of community radio in various parts of the world was directly linked to grass roots movements using radio as a tool to reach their constituencies - the community. Until recently, this has not been the case in Mozambique. After years of censorship, from the colonial era to that of the single party press, the open and democratic Mozambican Press Law (in force since 1991) radically changed the legal environment in which the country's media operate. From 1995 onwards, a state body, the Mass Communications Institute (ICS), and the Catholic Church, have started radios with a community orientation. Increasingly, independent stations, based on civic associations, are beginning to appear.
The historical precedents show that for a long time Mozambique was a country without strong traditions in terms of the production and dissemination of information of public interest through community involvement. Ever since the earliest days of the development of the Mozambican press, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the trend was to set up newspapers with large print runs or radio stations which broadcast over long distances.
In a situation such as that of Mozambique, where most of the populations live in extreme poverty, the use of mass media is not an easy task to implement. A lot of people cannot buy a newspaper regularly, or acquire a television. Most of the population is illiterate, and does not know how to read or to speak Portuguese, or English. The communication network is defective and so does not allow widespread distribution of periodicals in the districts, localities and villages. In such situations, community radios certainly present themselves as the media which can most easily reach the target audience.
From the perspective of the Mozambique Media Development Project, which operates under an agreement between the Mozambican government and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), community radio is a radio of the community, made by the community and for the community. "Community" is defined as a geographically based group and/or a social group or public sector which has common or specific interests. The station in Bagamoio is part of the Wave II community radio component of the Media Project (Jallov. B, UNESCO, Community Waves).
Bagamoio or Bagamoyois a populous area in the province/city of Maputo. To ensure the success of the program and to ensure its continuity, it is necessary to reflect upon the major challenges of the future and how the radios can be organized to face them.
The main challenge that the radios will face in the future is to guarantee their sustainability. Financial, if there are enough revenue or profit to continuously shoulder the expenses of running such program once it has been turned-over its management to the community. Technical, if there are qualified technicians to maintain its equipment and ensure its efficient functions. And editorial terms, as well as regards to human resources and working environment. No less important will be the battle to ensure that the communities feel that they own the radios. Only thus will it be possible to keep the stations working.
But for now, the radio staff are enthusiastic and hopeful for good results.
In order to ensure that the radios can sustain themselves, several paths forward have been indicated:
* An awareness campaign among the communities, including businesses, churches, NGOs and other institutions, so that they provide multifaceted support to the radios' operations;
* Undertake fund-raising activities with or without the direct use of broadcasting time;
* Produce attractive programming which meets the expectations of the communities, so that the radios can ensure a permanent interest by the listeners in their broadcasts.
So that the radios can advance along these and other paths, there is an urgent need for their managers and collaborators to work seriously with the communities. (Community Waves, Sadique F.)
Jallov, B. Unesco Media Project, 2001.
Economy, Macroeconomic Review, viewed on 6 July 2011 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/7035.htm#econ
UNESCO, Media Development Project
Sadique, F. , Community Waves, Some experiences in supporting the establishment of Community Radios by UNESCO in Mozambique www.mediamoz.com/CR/CR_WAVES.doc
A Free Press, http://usinfo.org/media/press/chissano.htm April 1997
 Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development. The ruling party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992.
 The "dark, heavy hand of censorship, fascist political control, and Gestapo-type political police" that once terrorized journalists in Mozambique is no more, says Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano.
Alternate name of Bagamoio, wikipedia