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Jowhar Community Radio

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$27 500.00

Somalia's media has evolved since it first blossomed in 1991, with private newspapers that were aimed at a rather narrow urban, literate and politicized elite, up to the time when it became a much more populist, commercial and community-based media with a tendency to side with various clans. The increase in the number of media outlets has corresponded with the arrival on the labour market of a generation of journalists, unskilled in either the basics of the profession or its ethical requirements. May be the largest obstacle to professional reporting remains the lack of education and professionalism among media practitioners. Conceptual understanding and practical skills for objective and independent reporting are weak, particularly after more than 17 years since the collapse of the Barre regime. The press milieu in Somalia portrays a number of inconsistencies. The lengthened non-appearance of a successful rule of law has resulted in a theatrical increase in the number of media foundations, whereas on the other it has placed journalists in danger from hostage takers, murderers, warring factions and the government concerned with controlling information, and disseminating its individual and institutional standpoints. The country now has hundreds of journalists operating in a wide range of newspapers, radio stations and Internet sites, but they function in an unsafe situation that weakens both professional journalism and press freedom. The project therefore proposes to establish a community radio station in Jowhar, Somalia. This region has no any community based radio to work as an interface between the Internet and the communities, by broadcasting relevant information mainly from the Somaliweyn's web service, in local language. This will help the listeners to keep informed, and also to catalyse community participation in their own development. Somaliweyn Media Center (SMC) has already obtained radio license in Mogadishu where it successfully runs an FM radio since 2007. The license for the Jowhar Community Radio has also been issued. The population that this radio is expected reach in the Jowhar Town and surrounding areas is about 200,000. Jowhar is an agricultural area about 90 km North of Mogadishu and relatively peaceful. The place is neglected because all skilled labour goes to Mogadishu and there are not many international organizations working there. The developmental issues faced by this area include: word of mouth as the main form of communication; occasional inciting of the population by local leaders to engage in conflict with neighbouring communities; lack of information about issues in the country; many internally displaced persons (IDPs) mainly from Mogadishu; wide spread practice of female genital mutilation (FGM); frequent floods; malnutrition, malaria and tuberculosis. The project aims to create an operational community radio capable of producing daily programmes that promotes access to knowledge and citizen's civic rights, and to train journalists and other staff in radio programme management, production and broadcasting.

Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nÂș: 

Implementation status :

Project evaluated:

Project scope:

Budget code: 
354 SOM 5081

Source of funds:

Beneficiary name: 
Jowhar Community represented by the Somaliweyn Media Centre (SMC)
Beneficiary address: 
Nasib Bundo Road, Shibis District of Benadir Region

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary type:

Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Hezekiel Dlamini,;

UNESCO Field Office:

Project place: 
Jowhar, Middle Shabelle

Project region:

Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 

The project implementation started in the last quarter of 2009 due to increased insecurity in the Mogadishu area up to mid-year. The renovation of the radio building and the procurement of the radio equipment have been delayed due to the volatile situation in Somalia. The recruitment of core radio staff and volunteers as well as the sensitization of the local authorities and the population on the advantages of having a community radio commenced in early 2010 but the follow-up installation of the community radio could not take place as during this period high levels of insecurity were witnessed. This project has been extended by 12 months (ending 31 December 2011 for the establishment of the community radio to be finalized. Radio broadcasting targeting the Somalia and the Somali Diaspora remains important for development agencies working in Somalia. The latest addition to the numerous radios is Bar Kulan Radio which was established by The United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) in collaboration with the current Transitional Federal Governament of Somalia (TFG) and is based in Nairobi. Hence despite the delays in implementing this project, its relevance is still significant. Following the project extension unitl 31st December 2011, implementation is ongoing

Achieved outputs: 
? Preparation of the community radio premises has been completed. ? Procurement of radio broadcasting equipment is underway. ? Recruitment of core radio staff and volunteers as well as the promotion of the radio among the target population have been carried out.