World Radio Day 2017: MRA Calls on Government and Others to Support Community Radio Sector

World Radio DayLAGOS, February 13, 2017:  On the occasion of the World Radio Day 2017, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) is calling on the government, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to institute a package of support to the community radio sector in Nigeria to enable it flourish.   It noted that there is an urgent need for support covering funding, programme development, management and governance as well as general capacity building to enable the sector achieve its full potential in Nigeria and realize its role.

In a statement in Lagos, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of MRA, noted that: “Radio remains the most popular and cheapest means of information dissemination even in the digital age. Unfortunately, inappropriate policies and other challenges are standing in the way of the full realization of the potential of radio, particularly community radio which has the greatest possibility for making the theme of this year’s celebration, “Radio is You”, a reality.

He observed that almost two years after the issuance of 17 licences for community radio operations, the vast majority of them, besides the Lavun Community Radio in Kutigi, Niger State, had not been able to get their operations off the ground. He stressed that the situation is indicative of a significant policy or regulatory distortion which needs to be addressed urgently.

MRA said it was regrettable that community radio, the third tier of broadcasting, is unfortunately still stunted in Nigeria while it is growing and flourishing throughout the West African sub-region as well as in other parts of the world.

Community radio, according to MRA is unique in a number of ways including informing people on what is going on in the communities where they live; broadcasting in the languages of the communities; involvement of everyone in the station’s programmes; the promotion of economic growth; and the preservation of local culture and traditions among others.

MRA criticised the regulatory framework for the broadcast sector in Nigeria, noting that the criteria and processes for obtaining broadcast licences are still shrouded in secrecy and pointlessly tied to the approval of the President. The group noted that this had contributed to stifling the growth of community radio stations in Nigeria, including commercial radio station.

The situation, MRA said, “was not allowing Nigerians to take full advantage of the potential of community radios.” He therefore called on the government to make the environment conducive for the acquisition and operation of community radio in Nigeria.

Mr. Ojo advocated the overhaul of the legal regime governing the award of broadcast licences in Nigeria, saying: “Government should recognize the third tier of broadcasting, community radio, as a very important tier. It is the tier of broadcasting that gives voice to the community and the community ownership structure of community radio ensures it is sustainable.”

He reminded the Nigerian authorities that community radio fosters unity and oneness, calling its attention to the statement of Tim Francis, Associate Programme Specialist for Media Development and Society at UNESCO, who has said: “At a time when many are pointing to a breakdown in civil, constructive discussion, and when the very idea of truth is increasingly being called into question, radio is uniquely-positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change.”

The UNESCO’s 36th General Conference of November 3, 2011 proclaimed February 13 the World Radio Day, to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe. The commemoration of the World Radio Day was originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain. February 13 was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946.

Leading African Freedom of Expression Organisations to Engage Stakeholders on Internet Rights and Freedoms Issues

AFEX group photo
Group Photograph of AFEX members at the capacity development meeting in Accra, Ghana

Twenty-three (23) individuals representing 19 of the most prominent freedom of expression organisations in Africa, have been equipped with knowledge, skills and strategies needed to engage stakeholders across the continent on digital rights issues.

The capacity building exercise took place at a two-day workshop on digital rights issues organised in Accra, Ghana, under the theme Empowering Freedom of Expression Organisations in Africa for Effective Digital Rights Advocacy.

The participants, brought together from 15 countries across Africa, were introduced to digital rights issues currently confronting the continent and how best to engage different stakeholders in their respective countries to address these challenges.

Using the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms as reference material, the workshop introduced participants to the principles and appropriate strategies needed to address identified digital rights issues. It also focused on how to use the Declaration to engage stakeholders in the internet ecosystem to ensure that the rights that people enjoy offline are also protected online in all regions of the continent.

As part of the training, participants were guided to develop short- to medium-term strategies for advocacy around different digital rights issues guided by the principles of the African Declaration. They also developed advocacy strategies for the adoption of the Declaration in their respective countries of operation.

The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a Pan-African initiative by civil society organisations across Africa that is aimed at creating a positive rights-based internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.

The training workshop on digital rights advocacy was organised by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) with support from the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). With additional support from the UK-based Global Partners Digital, other freedom of expression organisations in Africa also benefited from the training.

Afex logo.jpgAFEX is a continental network of freedom of expression (FoE) organisations spread across East, West, South and Central Africa who are also members of IFEX. The Media Foundation for West Africa, based in Accra, Ghana, serves as the Secretariat for the network.

mySociety Holds TICTeC2015 in London, Calls for Session Proposals

mySociety , an e-democracy project from Citizens Online Democracy Organization, will hold the first TICTeC2015 conference in London on March 25, 2015.

According to the organisers, “We think it’s important to conduct research into our services and activities to find out if and how we are really making a difference in the world. We also want to know how other groups are doing, and how they are having an impact on the field of civic technology.”

This is the first in an annual series of conferences, in which mySociety will  focus on the impact that civic technology and digital democracy are having upon citizens, decision makers and governments around the world.

Keynote addresses will be expected from Mr. Ethan Zuckerman and Dr. Shelley Boulianne.

mySociety is calling for session proposals relating to the conference theme. For more information, kindly click here:  www.mysociety.org/tictec

Washington, D.C Hosts World’s Media

The 67th World News Media Congress, the 22nd World Editors Forum, and the 25th World Advertising Forum, will take place in Washington, D.C., from June 1 to 3, 2015.

The global event will have participants from about 80 countries in attendance which will make it possible to develop invaluable cooperation, partnership and exchange with the Who’s Who in news media. The target audience and participants are top news executives (publishers, CEOS, Editors, Digital Directors, Advertising Directors, leading journalists) to share and learn about innovation and best-practice. The major aims of the event are:

  • To find out about the latest developments in not only the local and national regions, but, more importantly across the globe
  • To raise and debate critical issues facing our industry
  • To recognize and promote the valiant and courageous work of journalism all over the world
  • To promote press freedom locally, regionally and globally
  • To establish lasting friendships with among news media peers

The 2015 events will be organized in cooperation with the Newspaper Association of America.

To register, visit http://www.wan-ifra.org/dc2015_registration

Application Opens for 2015 OneBeat International Musicians Residency Programme

Applications from eligible musicians between the ages of 19 and 35 are now open for the OneBeat International Musicians Residency Programme for Innovative musicians. OneBeat is a music exchange and incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship encouraging innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects towards making a positive impact on local and global communities. The programme brings together musicians from around the world to the U.S. for one month each fall to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music alongside developing strategies for arts-based social engagement.

OneBeat, an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the groundbreaking New York-based music organization Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, engages collaborative original music as a potent new form of cultural diplomacy.

The programme is presently in its third year of cultivating a cutting-edge international network of leading artistic, technological, and social innovators in music.

Applicants must be 19 or older at the time of application and 35 or younger at the end of the programme which is October 2015. Applicants must be a citizen and resident of one of the eligible countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Musicians from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, with or without formal musical training. All music genres are welcome including but not limited to traditional/folk, hip hop, experimental, electronic, jazz, classical, sound design, beat-making, multimedia art, or any combination of these styles. In additional to full-time professional musicians, we also invite adventurous musicians who double as community organizers, instrument builders, writers, videographers, musicologists, educators, storytellers, dancers, shadow-puppeteers, and more.

OneBeat begins with an opening residency, when Fellows collaborate to create original material, record new musical ideas, and incubate their projects. Fellows then go on tour, performing for a wide array of American audiences, collaborating with local musicians, and leading workshops with youth.

In a closing residency, each OneBeat musician sets out their plans for the future, developing projects in their home countries linked to a mutually-reinforcing network of music-driven social enterprises.

The deadline for applications is February 14, 2015 as applications for the fall 2015 program open on January 5, 2015, and is due by February 14, 2015, 5:00 p.m. EST.

All costs will be covered for OneBeat Fellows, including travel and accommodations. Fellows will also receive a per diem and honorarium of around US$500.

In order to apply, register HERE.

If you have any questions, check the FAQ section or write to 1beat@foundsoundnation.org

The official web-page is http://1beat.org/. All interested applicants should read the program criteria and eligibility requirements.

TEF launches $100 Million Entrepreneurship Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has launched the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), which is a multi-year programme of training, funding, and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The mission of the entrepreneurship programme is to identify and grow 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create 1 million jobs and add $10 billion in annual revenue across Africa over the next decade. The programme is open to young compelling businesses with strong market feasibility, clear financial models and run by capable teams.

Interested entrepreneurs can apply for the programme through an online application portal where entrepreneurs must answer questions on their background, experience and business idea, plans for growth and proposed pan-African impact.  Deadline for submission of application is March 1, 2015.

Citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries are eligible and encouraged to apply to the programme. Applications can be made by any for-profit business based in Africa in existence for less than three years, including new business ideas. The application portal is available in English, French and Portuguese and applications will be accepted in these three languages.

Additional details about the programme, including the application process, eligibility, requirements and selection process are available on the TEF website at: www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/TEEP.

Inside Government Holds Forum on Cyber Crime

The UK-based Partnership Media Group Limited, otherwise known as Inside Government, will hold a forum with the theme: “Tackling Cyber Crime 2015: Enhancing Cyber Security in the UK” on March 4, 2015 in central London.

According to Inside Government, “Cyberspace is vital to the economy, with the UK’s internet ecosystem worth an estimated £82 billion a year – and rising. The UK is therefore heavily invested in the success of the internet. However, if the benefits of cyberspace are to continue to be enjoyed, the UK must work together to improve cyber security and safeguard against cyber crime.”

The forum provides delegates with an update on the latest policies and strategies for tackling cybercrime in the UK, where the threats and opportunities presented by cyber security are constantly evolving. Delegates will analyze best practice case studies for improving cyber security and effectively safeguarding against the risks of cybercrime to ensure business and service continuity.

Attendees at this interactive strategy discussion will get a firsthand opportunity to network with peers and fellow cyber security & crime stakeholders on what latest policy and funding is in place to effectively safeguard against the risks of cybercrime and ensure service continuity in the UK.

Delegates who will have an interest in this event will include detective inspectors, account executives, cyber security leads, heads of business development, heads of IT, heads of infrastructure, risk analyses, intelligence assessors and heads of operational security and will be drawn from police, the criminal justice sector, local and central government, Higher Education and the private and voluntary sectors.

For further information, click here.

Global Forest Watch, World Resources Institute Announce Small Grants Fund

Global Forest Watch (GFW) and World Resources Institute are calling for applications to the 2015 Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund. The fund aims to strengthen civil society organizations working on local forest management and conservation practices. It also aims to encourage civil society groups to conduct evidence-based advocacy and campaigning, and/or promote transparency in the forest sector.

Following the launch of the GWF platform in 2014, the Global Forest Watch Small Grants Funds was established.

GWF is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system empowering people everywhere to better manage forests. The grant provides financial and technical support for civil society organizations to apply GFW data and technology in their work. Selected organizations will be provided a grant between $10,000 and $40,000 USD for a short-term project that transforms Global Forest Watch information into action.

Civil society organizations, as well as past applicants to the Small Grants Fund, are encouraged to apply for funding.  The deadline for submission is March 1, 2015.

Click here for Guidelines for Applicants

2015 TechWomen Call for Applications

TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is calling for applications from female leaders with expertise in technology to attend the 2015 TechWomen Program in the United States.

The program which starts in October 2015 aims to connect and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The program will support them by providing the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities.

TechWomen strengthens participants’ professional capacity, increases mutual understanding between key networks of professionals, and expands girls’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models.

TechWomen is now calling upon young women who have experience in the STEM fields and desire to further their studies in the field, to put in applications for a fully funded study program in USA. Applicants should be women in professional careers that require significant knowledge of, and skill in technology.

To be eligible for the 2015 TechWomen program, applicants must:

  • Be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math)
  • Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four year university degree or equivalent
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Be citizens and permanent residents of Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya,  Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen, or Zimbabwe at the time of application, and while participating in the program
  • Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa
  • Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the United States, or participated in a visa lottery in the past five years
  • Not hold U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. legal permanent resident

Preference will be given to applicants who:

  • Have demonstrated themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen professional track
  • Have limited or no prior experience in the United States
  • Have a record of voluntary or public service in their communities
  • Have demonstrated entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation

TechWomen are selected based on a number of eligibility requirements. Applications are reviewed by independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts. Semifinalists may be interviewed by United States Embassy personnel in their country of permanent residence.

Some of the costs for the study program are covered by Techwomen program; they include:

  • Roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the United States
  • Domestic airfare from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
  • Housing in San Francisco or Mountain View, California during the mentorship
  • Meals and incidentals
  • Hotel stay in Washington, D.C.
  • Ground transportation to the participant’s host company
  • Local transportation to group program events in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.

TechWomen participants will be housed in San Francisco or Mountain View, California, depending on the location of the participant’s host company.

For more information, please visit www.techwomen.org

Intel, She Leads Africa Holds Workshop For Female Tech Entrepreneurs

She Leads Africa (SLA) and Intel Corp will host a series of educational workshops for female technology entrepreneurs in cities across Africa from January 2015. The workshop series which started on January 24, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya has two more scheduled stops in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.

She-Leads-AfricaThe aim of the workshop is to assist female developers in upgrading their IT knowledge and build a viable and successful business. Each workshop will consist of two sessions. Intel will lead the first session and will show attendees how technology can be used to solve community problems. There will also be working session on building participants MVP (minimum viable product) and getting their product ready for the public. SLA will take over the second session and will teach participants how to get their product/service into the hands of consumers.  Participant will go through real case studies to make sure that the session is practical and not just theoretical.

Participants will also learn about the Lean Start Up model and how to use Intel architecture in your business.

Female tech entrepreneurs are now being called upon to send in their applications to be selected as participants for the workshop. Intending participants should click here to apply.

For More Information: Visit the Official Webpage of the She Leads Africa X Intel Workshop