World Radio Day was celebrated in Windhoek on Friday, 13 February 2015 by many Namibians who use or make use of this media platform to entertain and inform the masses on a daily basis. This year’s observance of World Radio Day highlighted the involvement of youth in content production of radio programmes.
Many activities were put together to hear the voices of the youth and to highlight the importance Radio play in the life of the Namibian child. Radio programmes are most effective when produced with audience participation, in local languages and with consideration for cultural traditions. Successful features included live public shows, quizzes and village debates.
In hype of the actual day, Lifeline/Childline facilitated a workshop aiming to train journalist in community radio broadcasting. Learners of various high schools within the capital also joined in a panel discussion to underline ‘the relevance of radio to the Namibian youth. Youth members @ WRDNAM Event
The main festivities took place at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Science and Technology building with a live broadcasting-decentralized to all radio stations across the country through the technical support of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
Radio remains the most powerful, and yet the cheapest, mass medium for reaching large numbers of Namibians in isolated areas.
Information and Communication Technology Minister, Honourable Joel Kaapanda, who officiated in the days proceedings, said the involvement of young people in content creation would enhance public participation on youth related matters. Honourable Kaapanda, said radio is a good platform to create public debate as it had the widest audience reaching more than 90 % of the Namibian population.
Also, speaking at the event, Dr. Tharcisse Barihuta, UNESCO Windhoek Officer in Charge, said UNESCO is committed to promote youth participation in broadcasting. “Through the funding of the Swedish Development Cooperation, UNESCO Windhoek office is implementing a four -year regional project on “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs”. The project started in March 2012 and covers seven Sub-Saharan African countries, including Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. The project’s aim is to address the lack of quality programming of local radios’, in particular inadequacy of reporting on development issues and limited space dedicated to debate relevant issues for the youth,” said Dr. Barihuta. He highlighted that the project offers support on priority areas of public concern, and facilitates the active participation of youth in public debates thus, promoting their own development. He further said UNESCO was also assisting in the establishment of Khorixas Youth Radio in Kunene Region.
Youth participating in the World Radio Day Panel Discussion
Radio stations in all the regions of Namibia join in on the celebration in the form of outside broadcasting, open days for young people to access radio stations’ studios and co-produce present specific programmes. In Windhoek, about 90 students from 5 schools were afforded the opportunity to visit radio stations and co-present programmes. They were selected through a short essay contest entitled, “What does radio mean to you?” The students said they felt privileged and would like radio stations to include them more regularly in youth programming.
The Namibia National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Windhoek Office, the Polytechnic of Namibia, European Union, the UNCG Secretariat (UNIC Windhoek) and various radio outlets in country spearheaded the 2015 World Radio day celebrations that were attended by UN Family, public, primary and secondary school learners, students and staff of tertiary institutions, commercial and community radio stations, etc.