ICTs in Africa


While there is still nothing to replace the power of radio for community empowerment in Africa, ICTs used for digital and social media provide powerful opportunities for dialogue, interaction and change, says Empowerhouse’s Birgitte Jallov.

She adds that African communities are using social media to further amplify voices and strengthen community participation, engagement and ownership.

ICT-based platforms such as Frontline SMS, Freedom Fone, Kivufoon and others are increasingly in use in Niger, Mali, DRC, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, where communities are using FM radio as a powerful platform for organisation and change.

Frontline SMS is a system allowing community radio listeners to send text messages to the station to comment on issues.

Information can also be sent out by the station to listeners via SMS, such as health information during a cholera break-out or information on movements by armed groups in conflict areas (like in DRC).

Freedom Fone is used in Tanzania where radio encourages listeners to leave messages about improving the rearing of chicken.

In Mali the Foroba Blon system is used by citizen journalists to call in messages to the local community radio which can then be broadcast.


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