I s s u e  4 3   -   M o n t h ,  2 0 0 3

Technical Sustainability at Community Radio Core
If the equipment doesn't work, the radio is off air. A radio off air is no good for all the important social, cultural and political development plans of a community. And as the capacity to maintain and repair simple - or not so simple - radio production and transmission equipment is not necessarily available in a rural community, something important needs to be done to finds ways of meeting these important needs.

As part of its own commitment to ensure sustainability for the eight community radios started from scratch all over Mozambique with UNESCO's support during the past four years, and within the framework of the National Coordination Group of Community Radios, a process has been ongoing for one year to identify ways of creating a national technical sustainaibility network.

The culmination of the preparatory activity was a three day workshop hosted by the UNESCO Media Project January 22-24 in Maputo, joining potential core persons from the North, the Centre and the South of the country to

(i) map the present technical situation - in all community radio stations in Mozambique,
(ii) systematise the types of equipment, problems & locally identified solutions and finally to
(iii) identify ways of meeting the problems and challenges - including the initial design of an action plan for arriving at - what we ambitiously call - "a national, technical sustainability network for community radio".

When the work to establish a viable coordinated network for technical sustainability of the community radios, the Coordination Group will move on to find ways of designing similar sustainable systems in the area of training and funding, basing itself as much as possible on local tradition, creativity and experience - and learning from partners in other parts of Southern Africa and elsewhere.

The partners in the group organising this network represent all the different types of community-oriented broadcasting in Mozambique, namely the state initiated and run ICS stations, the Catholic community radios, one municipal radio and the group of stations owned, controlled and run by community associations.