UNESCO landed in Uganda and had the great pleasure to organize, with the support of the Swedish government, a two-day inception workshop from 04 to 05 November 2015 at Metropole Hotel in Kampala.
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, Uganda Media Council (UMC), 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.
The organized activities aimed at enabling community radio practitioners from the beneficiary radio stations to learn more about UNESCO and Swedish funded project on local radios, the projects expected results, and the most important activities to be carried out. Trainers briefed them as well on measures that had previously been put in place to ensure the smooth running of the project during the period of its implementation from 2015-2017 in Uganda.
Thus, the workshop began with introductory remarks from Mr. Jaco Du Toit, Advisor for Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO who welcomed participants to the workshop and took them through the two-day program and continued with participants being asked to engage themselves in the variety of activities organized.
After the presentation, participants were therefore urged to network with other stakeholders – Government, NGOs and Private Sector – during the implementation of the project as this would help affirm their role, importance and relevance in the context of media landscape in Uganda. Mr. Du Toit also encouraged participants all along the workshop to explore more avenues of use of ICTS to collect local content, produce quality radio programs and for better programming at their respective community radios.
Related to the challenges that our trainers faced while performing their activities in Uganda, they mainly noted that representation of youth in the workshop was limited and thus participants were encouraged to involve more youth people in the projects activities as they were part of the primary target of the project and thus critical to achieving the project’s objectives.
To put the icing on the cake and make sure that all participants had the chance to express themselves, the 4 community radios involved were thereafter requested to submit proposals for the priority activities that they had previously selected for implementation by 20 November 2015.
At the end of the workshop participants were so excited about the project spirit that they requested UNESCO to keep on organising training workshops on Archiving of Audio Visual materials for community radio stations, as well as a training on election reporting especially in the context of the forthcoming general elections scheduled to take place in February 2016 in Uganda.
This workshop was organized within the framework of the “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” project led by UNESCO and funded by the Swedish government UNESCO's project "Empowering Local Radios with ICTs" aims to bridge the gap between poor people - especially women and girls - and the public debate on issues of local public concern. This is achieved through a series of capacity-building activities in local radio stations, improving the programming quality, providing training on the use of ICTs and helping them to increase their geographical range of news coverage with a network of correspondents. The project, furthermore, focus on gender equality actions and financial sustainability of the radio stations.