African communities are underrepresented in media, often only visible when calamities occur. Day to day economic, political, social and spiritual dynamics of a community, which are crucial factors in development and situations of conflict, are minimally or subjectively highlighted in regular media. It is the people from within these communities that understand the local context, opinions, hopes and worries best. However, many NGOs and policymakers do not usually hear these local voices, but instead depend on external information. We provide communities with a tool to voice their issues.
Using new media
Interactive Communication Technology represents an important area for development and offers Africans new opportunities to voice unheard community issues online. By 2008, Africa had nearly eight times as many Internet users as it did in 2000 (International Telecommunication Union, 2009). In addition, the increase in the use of mobile cell phones in Africa has defied all predictions, over 30% by the end of 2008. Because many Africans do not have access to a PC, the popularity of using Internet on the mobile phone keeps increasing. We take advantage of recent technology trends in mobile Internet.
Youth in Africa face limited career opportunities. Looking for jobs, most young people move to informal settlements in large towns without security or hygiene, facing high competition for employment. There are numerous young Africans with an ambition to pursue a career in media, but who lack the required skills and financial resources to do so. We empower youth in reporting skills, so that they can pursue a career as independent reporter in their own rural or urban community.
03 March 2010, 12:02