The workshop attracted 24 participants comprising of 17 men and 7 women drawn from the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), UNESCO Antennae Office in Uganda, Media Council of Uganda (MCU), Uganda Association of Journalist (UAJ), Audience Dialogue, TRAC FM, and the four beneficiary radio stations namely, Radio Apac FM, Speak FM, Nakaseke FM, and Mama FM.
During the workshop, Mr Kyetume Kasanga, Principal Information Officer from Directorate of Information and National Guidance who represented the Minister of Information and Communications Technology for Uganda, stated that “The Government is committed to the development of the media sector and thus gives full support to UNESCOs media development initiative for community radios in Uganda. As media practitioners, I encourage you to play your part responsibly without fear or favour, even in this elective season.”
At the workshop participants were taken through presentations on UNESCOs administrative procedures that will guide implementation of the project activities; the process of self-monitoring for Community Radios in the project, how to write project proposals for selected priority activities in the project, code of ethics for journalism practice and on accreditation of journalists in Uganda. They were also taken through a presentation on TRAC FM (https://tracfm.org/), a free, cloud based software platform that uses radio and SMS to track citizen reports and collect citizen feedback.
Mr Peter Balaba, Programme Manager at Nakaseke FM stated that “I am very happy that we are finally part of UNESCOs SIDA project. It is clear from the presentations that the project not only focuses on building capacity of radio staffs but it will also assist our radio stations to put into place sustainability measures that will help us grow our radios beyond this project. This will enable us bring a great difference to our society through the programmes that we produce and air at our stations”.
Participants also took part in a round table discussion on how to leverage the potential of ICTs to empower community radios in Uganda. Ms Jane Ongom a producer from Speak FM said, “I am happy that I have gained a lot of knowledge about the UNESCO project from this inception workshop. My team and I are now prepared for the actual implementation of the project at Speak FM in order to bring a development change in our local community through our radio programmes”.
The inception workshop was organized as part of UNESCOs continuing media development initiatives in the region under its ongoing SIDA funded project themed: “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs” in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.