A two-day radio conference was held in Zambia that brought together various radio broadcast stations from around the country
Organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia, the conference, or indaba, as it is locally called, aimed to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder interaction on standards in the radio industry by looking at the current challenges and trying to provide possible solutions to those challenges.
Speaking at the event, Hellen Mwale, chairperson of MISA Zambia, said that radio had made a significant contribution to the country’s socioeconomic development by helping citizens to access critical information through news and current affairs programmes.
However, Mwale also bemoaned the challenges that the radio industry was facing, including sustainability challenges that make it hard to meet operational costs, train staff or maintain and replace equipment. She added that MISA, together with partners such as BBC Media Action, were working towards improving the sustainability of radio stations.
Josephine Mapoma, director general of Zambia’s Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), was also at the indaba. She revealed that since its inception in 2013, the IBA had issued a total of 19 radio broadcasting licences, bringing the number of radio stations in the country to 80.
Speaking about the need to follow ethical guidelines, she said, “The business in which you are involved, ladies and gentlemen, is a volatile one that cannot exist in a vacuum or without rules and regulations.”
The indaba comprised of panel discussions on topics such as the future of radio in Zambia, ethics in the media and the challenges involved in ensuring financial sustainability for radio stations. Participants also attended technical classes on radio broadcast areas.
The event was organised by MISA Zambia with support from the BBC Media Action and the Swedish International Development Agency.