Feasibility study on the creation of a national radio network in Tanzania

The number of Catholic radio stations in Sub-Saharan Africa - currently about 130 stations - is growing continuously. The challenges they are facing are to a great ex-tent similar or even the same: their sustainability, training needs, inadequate technical, human and financial resources, etc. A closer and more effective cooperation among radio stations can be very beneficial for its members. Initiatives to create national networks of Catholic radio stations are in process in several African countries, such as Cameroun, Madagascar and Sudan.

In Tanzania, the Episcopal Conference (TEC) is in the process of building a network of nine Catholic diocesan radio stations, a project, that is already in an advanced phase. The stations aim to exchange programmes of national rele-vance via satellite in the lingua franca Swahili, developing common training pro-grammes, improving their position in the advertising market, etc. In order to facilitate the respective processes, CAMECO suggested learning from experiences others have made in other parts of the world already. Therefore, we proposed that a partner from Latin America was invited to facilitate the process. The main objectives of the field visit were to assess the existing conditions to create a network and to clarify the individual roles and expectations of the member radio stations of what belonging to and participating in a network would mean. The TEC embarked on the South-South exchange and a feasibility study with two workshops and visits to several radio sta-tions in the country was organised, planned and steered by CAMECO.

The feasibility study served as the basis for the planning and implementation of the next steps. Based on the information gained during the on the spot mission, the fol-lowing aspects were identified to be worked on: the organisational plan and respon-sibilities within a network, composition and role of the steering committee, tasks of the server radio station, etc. A central aspect of the mission was further to stress the need to internalise that networking is characterised by a way of thinking and acting together rather than technical matters.