ZACRAS appeals for more support for community radios

By Ndumiso Tshuma

The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) has implored the government to offer increased support to community radio initiatives and expedite the licensing process for more community radio stations.

In a statement marking World Radio Day 2024, which carries the theme “Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating,” ZACRAS highlighted this significant event coincides with their 20th anniversary, celebrating two decades of empowering communities through the transformative power of radio.

While acknowledging the progress made over the past two decades, ZACRAS also emphasized the need for further action. They called upon the government of Zimbabwe to recognize the significant role of community radio in promoting democracy, freedom of expression, and social inclusion, and advocate for its sustainability to be integrated into the National Agenda.

The statement went on to explain that the current 14 licensed community radio stations operate at different capacity levels, yet they provide an essential platform for local voices and serve as critical sources of information for their communities. ZACRAS stressed the importance of ensuring their continued existence and success.

Therefore, ZACRAS implored the government to offer increased support to these initiatives and expedite the licensing process for more community radio stations.

The association further argued that such actions would create an enabling environment that fosters media pluralism, amplifies marginalised voices, and contributes to the overall development of the country. They highlighted the additional benefits of community radio stations, such as bridging the information gap, empowering women and youth, stimulating local economies, and strengthening social cohesion.

ZACRAS reaffirmed their commitment to advocating for the rights of community radio stations, promoting media diversity, and capacitating them through providing studio equipment and technical training.

The organisation concluded by expressing its readiness to continue collaborating with the government, civil society organisations, and all stakeholders to create a vibrant and inclusive media landscape that empowers all Zimbabweans.

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