“The reality of the legal environment in Uganda is that it suppresses the progress and development of the community radio sectors”. These were the words of Jimmy Okello, the National Coordinator at Community Media Network Uganda, during the recently concluded online forum on ‘How To Adequately Resource Community Broadcasting In Africa’.
During the conversation, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) asked Okello how public policies impacted the community broadcasting ecosystem in Uganda?. In responding, Okello noted that there existed two community broadcasting guiding policies in Uganda, namely the broadcasting policy and the digital policy.
The policies, according to Okello, have been written to encourage members of the community to participate in planning, production and presentation of the community radio programmes. However, the reality of the broadcasting policy is that it suppresses the progress and development of the community radio sectors across the country. The community broadcasting sector experiences this suppression through frequency allocation. Community radios are forced to share frequencies, hindering the ability to identify and individualise community radio stations for advertising purposes, amongst other factors.
The online forum was an initiative by Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), in partnership with 2Gwana Media to ‘Strengthen Community Broadcasting In Africa’ by analysing how media laws can empower community broadcasting to attract more private funding and investment.