I s s u e  23  -   M A R C H  ,  2 0 0 1

A Push Forward for Independent Print Media
Women's Community Radio Network
Joint Paper Purchase for Better Prices
Community Radio Exchange June 6-7 2001
Equipment to Community Radios
Local Public Radio soon on air in Gaza 
Media Fighting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

A Push Forward for Independent Print Media
The month of March marks an important development for the independent print media of Mozambique, as both the Communication Centers of Tete and Beira were opened, on March 4th and 9th respectively. In both centers the opening marks the culmination of a one and a half year process, starting on September 26, 1999, when a UNESCO National Consultative Meeting identified the sites for three experimental centers to be developed.
The core idea of the Communication Centers being the creation of added impact of the independent print media nationally, the Centers are meant to further stimulate production of provincial and regional newspapers and newsletters, as well as to function as a base for correspondents from independent newspapers elsewhere in the country, as such strengthening wider coverage in national newspapers. Electronically transferring and locally printing newspapers from elsewhere is technically possible with the equipment available at the centers. Presently it is being assessed whether this could be considered a viable and useful way of short-cutting the present severe distribution problems of the print media in the country.
To meet these needs the centers are equipped with computers with internet connection, printers, scanners, fax, photocopiers and copy printers. Documentation centers with TV sets etc. for reception of international news and VCRs will facilitate training functions of the centers.
The centers are managed and run by local associations of independent media, the creation of which was stimulated and supported by UNESCO. To ensure long term sustainability, the Centers are to be run as self-financed entities, meaning that all (!) use of the centers will be paid for. Rates have as such been established for hourly use of the computers, printing, copying as well as for using the telephones, fax and internet. The price-systems operate with differential rates, ensuring cost-prices for members of the associations, and commercial rates for external users.
 The UNESCO support includes payment of the above-mentioned equipment, training and running costs the first six month, while an initial maintenance fund is being generated. While the centers are created and run by the local associations, the equipment will remain in the ownership of UNESCO for a 5 year period.
 While UNESCO is negotiating with groups in Nampula and Chimoio for co-operation of opening ‘independent media cornres’ in existing media operations, and planning to support the opening of two more centers in its phase II starting July 2001 (possibly in Inhambane and Quelimane), the core challenges will be for the centers to maintain the fine balance of securing a sound financial survival, and at the same time remaining centers for ‘freedom of expression’ rather than photocopy shops or graphic production enterprises. A continued awareness of this balance, will be supported by UNESCO through training and exchange seminars between the centers.
Women’s Community Radio Network
March 1-2 a seminar was held in Chimoio to finalise plans for a Network of Women in Community Radio Stations in Mozam-bique, producing – or planning to produce – programmes on issues of concern to women.
 22 women from all parts of the country re-presenting all the different types of commu-nity radio stations on air, contributed active-ly to the finalization of a Strategic Develop-ment Plan including a concrete action plan. Pre-production of 18 programmes on topics of core importance to women will be produ-ced and distributed by the network, which will also organize exchange through a monthly newsletter and quarterly meetings.
 The network is open to all groups working in this area in Mozambique. The report of the meeting can be received from the UNESCO Media Project upon request.

Joint Paper Purchase for Better Prices
Paper represents presently around 70% of the total budget of the print media in Mozambique – and paper prices have been rising due to the floods in 2000 and the devaluation.
  For these reasons UNESCO has since a first meeting on the issue October 4, 1999 been looking for ways of organizing a mechanism for joint paper purchase.
  Based on a consultant report on the issue, a meeting on February 16 this year finally managed to bring the independent print media to agree on a structure and operation-mode for such a mechanism, which is foreseen to start the joint paper purchase before the middle of this year. The result will be close to 30% lower paper prices for the participating print media. UNESCO will initially cover administration costs and ensure that the scheme gets well established.

Community Radio Exchange June 6-7 2001 
Mozambique will have at least 30 community-oriented radio stations on air late 2001. To evaluate the experience and strengthen the sustainability of all of these important media, UNESCO June 6-7 will host a national com-munity radio seminar on the concept and ex-perience of community radio in Mozambique.
Based in the very varied experience of the ICS, the Catholic and the independent, association-based stations, the objective of the seminar is to identify concrete ways of securing sustainability-plans for technical support, fundraising and training. 

 Empowering Communities to go on Air

While the present phase of the UNESCO/UNDP Media Development Project is slowly drawing towards the end, the major project component in support of Community Radio is sizzling with activity and excitement. 

Supporting communities to possess the needed capacity and insight to turn their dreams of having an own communication medium into reality is not done overnight. Through a well researched and closely monitored pilot phase, a number of important lessons have been learned by all involved parties, leaving us assured that the new, powerful commu-nity voice will stay in the hands of the local community-controlled structures created.

Training is - also - in this gestation process at the core. Formal, high quality training courses has been provided in the central disciplines: Management, Programming, Audience Research and Technical Operation & Maintenance. Informal, broad-based community training has furthermore been provided to these communities through a consultant Process Coach, carrying and promoting the community mobilization to secure effective community structures and ownership, as well as radio production training. Strong local community ownership feeling and groups of between 20 and 40 well trained volunteers have been the result of the work of the coaches. Finally study trips to other community radio stations and to the studios of the provincial delegations of the national public radio, have provided the community volunteer groups with valuable insight through exposure to different realities.

Besides from training, the persons involved in the community radio management committees and the paid staff have taken part in a number of management workshops as the one reported in our February newsletter, combined with a series of monitoring-cum-capacitation missions that have been carried out by project staff and consultants.

The UNESCO/UNDP Media Development Project is planning a number of activities to ensure that no experience is lost, but rather channeled into the continuing discussion of how to most effectively empower communities to establish, run and sustain their own voice, and as such through access, participation and increased capacity to further develop the growing democracy of Mozambique.

A book and a video documentary on the above described experience will see the light in June-July and a national conference will take place June 6-7, 2001. This conference will assess the community radio experience of the country, as it has emerged through the ICS supported community radio stations, the Catholic community-oriented stations and the independent association-based stations.

A LONG WALK TO MILANGE                                         

  To finalize the Community Capacity Assessments of the five locations identified to take part in the UNESCO supported Wave II, the Chief Technical Adviser and the National Co-ordinator of the Media Project traveled to Milange mid March to speed up preparations for the setting up of social and organiza-tional structures for the establishment of a Commu-nity Radio in that district of the Zambezia Province.

  The mission culminated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, whereby four locally represented NGOs - the Mozambican CMM and ORAM together with IBIS and Nova Fronteira - agreed to form an Installation Group of the future Community Radio Association. A consultant will for three weeks help to operacionalise the many activities foreseen in the memo of understanding.

  April 11 the initial General Assembly of the Milange Community Radio Association will take place, marking an important step in the wish to establish a Milange-controlled community radio station.

  The other communities receiving UNESCO support to training, equipment and running costs are: Dondo, Metangula, Matola and Bagamoyo within Wave II and within Wave I: Homoine, Chimoio and Cuamba.

  COACH TO METANGULA                                         

The community of Metangula has now also received the important strengthening of the community mobilization and radio training activities, through a Metangula-based UNESCO Process Coach. 

  As such nine UNESCO coaches are now working in Homoine, Chimoio, Cuamba, Metangula, Milange, Quelimane, Dondo, Matola and Bagamoyo.

DONDO & METANGULA RADIO HOUSES                                        

Contracts are presently being signed with companies selected to renovate the future Community Radio Stations in Dondo and Metangula. The communities have already started turning the outdoor area into conducive community spots, for community activities to be brought on air live.


  The Media Project inaugurated early March a package of HIV/AIDS-related activities comprising a number of AIDS training activities, a regular briefing-kit on the epidemic, and related events.

  In March a seminar was held in Maputo involving organizations, experts, journalists and editors specialized or working on HIV/AIDS related programmes. The seminar was instrumental to pin-point the role of the media in general and to inspire the production of a one-day training package on HIV/AIDS, designed to be included into any planned training activity for journalists, editors and community media activists alike. The package will be made available to all training organizers in Mozambique and other African lusophone countries

The training package precedes a series of three 8-day training courses on "Reporting HIV/AIDS", to take place from May to July, in Maputo, Beira and Quelimane. A total of up to 60 editors and journalists are expected to take part.

Parallel to this, the Media Project is also initiating the production of bi-weekly briefing kits with facts, figures, some stories and other information on the pandemic, aimed at inspiring the media with relevant and effective AIDS related coverage. The briefing kit-series will be launched in a one day high level editors conference in Maputo in May.

COMMUNITY RADIO NEWSLETTER                                         

April is the month to witness the appearance of the first issue of the monthly newsletter of the Women's Community Radio Network. As described in the past issue of this newsletter other activities of the women's network are production and exchange of programmes and experience as well as training.


  The importance of access to a national, public, high quality, free journalism education is at the core of the two day discussions to take place at a high level UNESCO seminar to take place May 17-18 in Maputo. For more information contact the Project.

Equipment to Community Radios
Homoine, Chimoio and Cuamba – in that order – will from mid April receive a team of technicians from Cape Town to finalise the studios and install the equipment. The sta-tions are expected to be on air from May on.

Local Public Radio soon on air in Gaza
Radio Mozambique (RM) is now procuring the transmission equipment funded by the UNESCO Media Project, which will facilitate the technical side of getting the last provincial delegation planned on air. Besides from this AM transmitter for the Gaza provincial delegation, an FM transmitter for the same area will ensure improved reception of the national RM channel in Portuguese.

Media Fighting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic 
As part of an extensive HIV/AIDS information and communication package developed by UNESCO within its Media Development Project, a one-day training package is present-ly being put together by Mercedes Sayagues for the NSJ Trust for use in all training cour-ses for Media personnel. Other activities that will soon take place are: Three 8-day courses on Reporting HIV/AIDS, a bi-weekly feature service for all media in Mozambique, a one-day conference for editors and a Web-Portal for Community Radio is being designed.

Media Development Project c/o UNESCO, P.O.Box 1397 Maputo, Mozambique
Tel. + 258.1. 498752/ 490840 Fax +258.1.498717
E-mail: unesco@mediamoz.com