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Establishment and Networking of Community Multimedia Centres in the East African Region

Year when project approved: 

The convergence between radio and the Internet is providing new strength to community radio. Not only are community radios being empowered to reach new latitudes, but also Internet users are learning from a participatory experience that is expected to contribute much to social change. In this context, a need for Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) in rural areas of East Africa has emerged. The establishment of CMCs in such areas envisages a combination of community radio with telecentre facilities, under community ownership. Telecentres provide numerous ICT services, such as access to the Internet, to computers and software capabilities, to electronic commerce applications, and to many other public information services. Community radio is a very effective tool to reach rural communities. The Internet has a better chance to succeed as a tool for development and participation if linked to existing communication or information experiences. In light of the above, this project proposes to combine the establishment of community radios and telecentres to form community multimedia centres (CMCs). Their main aim will be to respond to communication and information needs for the development agenda of the community concerned. This project will allow for appropriation of ICT tools by communities where people absorb, systematise and transform information into new knowledge that can be communicated to others and applied to solve their concrete needs. Support for CMC equipment (both transmission and telecentre), capacity building and training which goes beyond access and basic applications, and addresses personal, institutional and systemic barriers as well as content development, is critical. Bridging the digital divide will be the goal of this project. It will establish 4 community multimedia centres in 4 marginalised communities in East Africa (two in Kenya, one in Uganda and one in Tanzania) and thus empower them by enabling them to benefit from access to information and communication technologies.

Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nÂș: 

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Budget code: 
354 RAF 5062

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Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Hezekiel N. Dlamini,

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Project place: 
East Africa

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Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 

Two weeks regional training of trainers on HIV/AIDS programmes scripting and production for community radios was conducted in Nairobi in September 2007. A total of 30 CMC producers (14 women) from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Djibouti, Rwanda and Burundi were trained. 5 PCs, a local area network (LAN) and a VSAT Internet connection were provided and installed at the Bondo CMC (Kisumu, Kenya) under this project. As a result of the computer and Internet installations this centre was selected as the first African CMC to participate in global online learning network developed by NPO Pangaea (, an NGO based in Japan. This network creates a universal playground where children from all over the world can communicate using pictorial letters to overcome the barrier of languages, geographical distance and the differences in social backgrounds. In collaboration with Computer Aid International, the following Community radio stations in the region received 2 PC's each: Radio Mangelete (Kenya), Migori Clan Community Radio (Kenya), Radio Isanganiro (Burundi), Dushirehamwe Voice of Women (Burundi), Kagadi Kibaale Community Radio (Uganda), Fadeco Community Radio (Tanzania), Huguka Community Radio (Rwanda), and Radio Izuba (Rwanda). The East Africa Community Multimedia Centre (EACMC) was also established under this project and is hosted by EcoNews Africa (ENA)(, which has been one of the leading partners in developing CMC networks in East Africa. The centre has developed a CMC network website to track community media developments in Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Somalia.

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