More than 260 participants from nearly 50 different countries, from all
continents are meeting in Accra, Ghana on the occasion of the 11th International
Conference of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) since
Monday until August 14 at the invitation of the Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN).
The opening ceremony gave way to traditional dances of Ghana and the
voices of the communities that highlighted the richness of culture and oral
tradition of the host country.
In her opening speech, the President of AMARC, Maria Pía Matta, recalled
the challenges that AMARC must confront in a world of changes:
modernization of the structure, effectiveness towards members and cohesion
among the regions to reach a stronger, more transparent organization.
Bukar Tijani, Regional Director for Africa of the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) addressed the participants to strengthen
the ongoing partnership between FAO and AMARC their common struggles to
promote food security and sustainable development of societies, in which
the proximity and community radio stations play a key role. This
partnership should be based on closer relations so that policies and global
strategies are tailored to projects and needs encountered in the field.
Ato Sarpong, Deputy Minister of Communications of Ghana, addressed the
crucial issue of digitization of radio spectrum and of community radio in a
new digital environment. Communication rights are universal rights and
community radio stations must engage in the defense of this process.
The 11th International Conference of the World Association of Community
Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) continues until August 14.
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) gathers more than
4,000 community radios, federations and community media stakeholders in
more than 150 countries.
Zimbabwe is still to licence Community radio stations and the government
has promised to do so by the middle of 2016.
The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
chaired by Gift Mambipiri and coordinated by Vivienne Marara
groups together initiatives which intend to apply for community radio licences.
Some of the well known Zimbabwe community radio initiatives are Radio Dialogue
Community Radio Harare, Wezhira and Kwelaz.