Article written

  • on 09.02.2015
  • at 11:51 AM
  • by Kevin

Upgrading rural radios in Guinea for more listeners and better content 0

Fondation Hirondelle has just acquired an important assignment of equipment for rural radios in Guinea, and a technical team is currently installing them. The first radios to benefit are the regional radios of Kankan, Kindia and Labé. In March, the technical team will go to all the stations in Guinea’s Forest region (Guinée Forestière) to complete the mission.

The acquisition and installation of this production equipment is part of the partnership between Fondation Hirondelle and Guinea’s Rural Radios, which has been ongoing for a year and will continue this year.

The goals are several. The first one is to extend their broadcasting range and so make the radios accessible to a wider audience. Each regional radio is supposed to cover a natural geographical region of Guinea. Currently, however, the one in the regional capital Nzérékoré cannot be heard in Womey, which we sadly remember as the place where an official delegation coming to sensitize people on Ebola was attacked last September. Eight people died, including three journalists and three doctors. Womey, however, is only 50 km from Nzérékoré.

We can also cite the case of Kindia. The radio, which is supposed to cover the whole Guinée maritime region, can only be heard at present in the commune of Kindia and the immediate surrounding area. Fondation Hirondelle’s aimis to restore this radio to its former glory through the Studio Hirondelle Guinée project, based in Conakry.The mission currently under way will install a broadcasting system on Mont Kakoulima, which is 1,107 metres high and can be seen from the capital Conakry.

The radio stations of Kankan and Labé are also expected to extend their broadcasting range considerably. The one on Labé was formerly nicknamed RFI, Radio Foutah Internationale. The big Peul expatriate communities living in neighbouring countries were avid listeners and participants in the life of the station.

The second big objective of this operation is technical migration, that is, to transfer the rural radios from old technology to new. They still do not use new technology very much, and the equipment currently being installed will give them digital production capacity: recorders, sound editing software, computer assisted broadcasting and so on. A new and complete radio studio is to be installed at each station. All the technology is the latest. Studio Hirondelle Guinée already finished installing Internet points at each station four months ago. They should allow them to exploit the multiple resources that IT offers media.

Continue reading at Fondation Hirondelle

By Martin Faye

Photo Credit: Martin Faye

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