Opuwo-The newly established community radio set to operate from Opuwo in Kunene Region will give voice to the residents of that region without any censorship from political, business and traditional forces seeking to drive individual agendas.
This is according to Tjikunda Kulunga, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the envisaged Kunene Community Radio, which will cover a radius of 100 km, broadcasting on frequency 94.3 FM.
Kulunga gave these assurances while introducing the new community radio concept to various stakeholders at Opuwo recently. The stakeholders included traditional leaders, churches, representatives of government ministries and the general public who all gave inputs on their expectations of the new radio, which is set to go on air within the coming three months.
“Community members’ views will be respected and [they will] be allowed to freely air their concerns, advice and suggestions relating to the current affairs of the region and Opuwo town in particular,” said Kulunga, who noted that specially tailored programmes focusing on education, health, legal, development and entertainment will receive prominence in the new radio station programming schedule.
The new community radio will broadcast in four main local languages, namely Otjiherero, Otjizemba, Oshiwambo and English. More indigenous languages are set to be added in the near future to cater for the minority languages spoken within the range of the radio’s frequency.
Despite the concept viability of the radio, lack of adequate funds for operational costs proved to be a major stumbling block towards the launching of the radio and in this regard Kulunga urged corporates and the community at large to come to their aid with whatever assistance they can give.
Delivering the opening remarks at the stakeholder presentation meeting, Kunene regional head of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Lot Shikongo welcomed the idea of the community radio, noting that it will empower the community through information.
“The community radio is in line with the Harambee Prosperity Plan, as it promotes the development of ICT infrastructure within the communities and it also speaks to the country’s Vision 2030, which envisages Namibia to become a knowledge-based society in which its citizens have a voice to participate in national discourses pertaining to their developmental aspirations,” he said.
* Malakia Nashongo is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Kunene Region.