About

RFI Planète Radio, supporting community radios in their actions for global development

RFI Planète Radio represents the cooperation branch of France Médias Monde, which comprises Radio France Internationale, France 24 and MCD Doualiya. This structure has been working to create and support grass-roots media for over 15 years, as well as to strengthen both grass-roots media and the different stakeholders’ professional skills, on five continents.

As one of the main agents for information, civic education and social cohesion for populations in remote areas, these local media, with RFI Planète Radio’s support, provide a global network of exchanges and shared resources.

In collaboration with international human rights organisations, RFI Planète Radio’s team invests its expertise and imagination in servicing communities that are often marginalised, by developing projects related to ‘Media, Development and Culture’. These projects aim to reflect the realities and expectations of local communities, but also to play an active role in establishing and reinforcing democratic processes, as well as defending vulnerable or disadvantaged populations.

 

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Our objectives

  • Identify needs and collaborate with existing grass-roots media;
  • Aid the conception and installation of new radio stations that focus on contemporary problems
  • Strengthen radio staff’s professional skills through local trainers
  • Make radios viable and sustainable
  • Enable local radio access for vulnerable communities and indigenous peoples
  • Encourage participatory initiatives in order to support local cultural creation

Our strengths

  • A team composed of French and foreign professionals that has achieved global recognition (journalism, technique, management)
  • Unrivalled experience in the fields of radio and cooperation, on five continents
  • A network of partners and local trainers in many countries
  • Actions specifically designed and adapted for community radios
  • A quickly operational, light structure, including in remote areas
  • The Radio France/RFI Planète Radio Technical Cooperation Fund for equipments assignment
  • The development of concerted, renewable technical innovations servicing community media: electrical systems supplied by alternative energy sources.

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Our approach

We use grass-roots media to support cultural development and human processes, improve social links between communities, enrich experience exchanges, enhance and preserve the memory and richness of ethnic minorities’ intangible cultural heritage, support the joint management of natural spaces, and propose original and targeted energy source solutions through alternative systems, such as animal-drawn electric generators (“Boeuf qui Tourne”), or self-sustained vegetable oil electric generators. These objectives, alongside our participatory and solidarity-based approach, are what characterise RFI Planète Radio.

Why local and community radios ?

In most developing countries or crisis zones, radio is the main conduit for information and communication, accessible everywhere and to all. Communities are often keen to get involved in these local proximity media, as it enables them to strengthen local development actions and establish and consolidate democratic processes.

In the case of floods or epidemics, simple health advice or wanted notices need to be broadcasted in rural regions. However, with very limited resources and a lack of professional skills, local radios are struggling to survive and compete with commercial and national radios.

 

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Our 5 fields of action

Grass-roots communication: Helping develop and strengthen community radios’ professional skills to improve local communication and broadcast local information.

Environment and eco-development: Implementing activities that raise communities’ and local authorities’ environmental awareness through grass-roots media, particularly community radios.

Defending indigenous peoples’ rights: Strengthening grass-roots media, especially community radios, to raise awareness among elected representatives about the need to preserve the culture and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

Art and cultures: Highlighting the cultural and artistic aspects of rural communities, within the framework of awareness and development projects carried out with a view to defending indigenous peoples.

Eco-technologiesResearching and developing alternative, environmentally-friendly and participatory technologies that will improve grass-roots radio structures, especially in the field of energy sources.

History

The RFI-Khuluma Project was born in 1998 following a fact-finding mission headed by Max Bale in South Africa. In order to respond more efficiently to the needs and expectations identified in each radio station, a new in situ training concept was implemented in South Africa, then in Namibia, and finally in Zambia.

New field expertises were carried out in 2002 and 2003, allowing the RFI-Khuluma Project, renamed RFI Planète Radio, to develop its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar and, in recent years, in countries such as the Central African Republic, Cameroon,  Turkey and East Timor.

 

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