Auteur / Author : Kwesi Kwaa Prah ONLINE
Titre / Title : Speaking African on the Radio. Impact Assessment Survey of FM/Community Radios Using African Languages in Ghana, Mali and Senega
Collection / Series :
Editeur / Publisher : Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) EN
Année / Year : 2004   Nbr. Pages :      74 pages / 402 Kb     Taille / Size


Evaluation / Book review.
The focus on the study is an Impact Assessment Survey in Ghana, Mali and Senegal on FM Radios Using African Languages. The idea of this study emerged out of discussions which the Director of CASAS, Kwesi Kwaa Prah had with Stella Hughes of the UNESCO Communication Development Division in March 2004 in Maputo. Both Ms. Hughes and Prof. Prah shared enthusiasm for the slow but increasing awareness of interested parties about content development in African languages for ICTs and FM/Community radios which over the last decade have proliferated on the African
continent. Indeed, the issue of content development has become a key issue in the whole discussion about ICTs in Africa. During the Maputo discussions it was agreed that it would be useful for CASAS and UNESCO to undertake cooperative work with specific reference to African language usage through FM/Community radios on the continent.
The manuscrit includes two main parts: the study itself (about 35 pages) and the appendices offering the questionnaire which has been administrated and the results.
The following
paragraphs of the concluding observations deserves to be quoted as an encouragement to FM/community radio to increase the use of the African languages in their programming:
"In all three countries the deepening of the culture of democracy is a distinct feature of the impact of African language-based FM radios. Everywhere citizens feel freer and able to question, criticize and comment on public policy, politics and other social affairs. When listeners hear their fellow citizens express themselves on all matters affecting their everyday lives without inhibitions, in languages they understand and speak fluently, they are psychologically strengthened and emboldened to join in.
These stations are also helping to push up the aesthetic qualities of African languages. Listeners admire and appreciate elegance in language use. In all three countries the use of proverbs, folktales and folksongs are enhancing the status of oral literature in the countries. In Ghana and Senegal it was also confirmed that the FM stations are increasingly playing important roles in health and agricultural education.
The civic conscience of citizens throughout the region is growing. More and more people are participating in public discussions, and because the radio stations broadcasting in African languages do not discriminate against illiterates (because illiteracy is irrelevant in this respect), the grassroots of society in the region are feeling culturally empowered to involve themselves in national discussions."

Topics include:

* Language, literacy, orality and the radio

* Elites and the evolution of language policies

* Gender, age and education

* Language, multilingualism and occupation

* Radio listening periods and television watch

* Preferred Programmes and Languages

* Role of Government

* Airtime Balance; African and European Languages

* Capacity of African Languages

* Youth and African Languages

* Impact of Community/FM Radio

Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah
Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS)
PO Box 359
Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 689 9217
Fax: +27 21 685 0332
E-mail: or
CASAS Website:

Source:Soul Beat, Communication Initiative :

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