Botswana And Unesco 18th Edition

Background The landscape of Bots- wana, dominated by the Ka- lahari Desert in thewest and south and the Okavango delta in the north-western part, has remote and sparsely populated areas where it is not possible to provide reg- ular supply of newspapers, publications and in some even telephone services. Ra- dio broadcasting has since independence been the only regular link connecting some of these areas to the rest of the country. The state controlled Radio Botswanawas the only radio station in Botswana broad- casting programmes in edu- cation, agriculture, news, music and announcements to local communities until 1992. In realizing that pro- gramming line-up was con- gestedat Radio Botswana, the government extended Radio Botswana into Radio Bots- wana 1 (RB 1) and Radio Bots- wana 2 (RB 2) in 1992. By the end of the decade, around 1998, two other radio stations, Gabz FM and Yarona FM were licensed as private com- mercial broadcasters which were able to operate within a seventy-kilometre radius fromGaborone, where they have since been based. The number of commer- cial radio stations has since increased to three as of 1998 with the licensing of Duma FM. Government radio sta- tions are available country- wide and commercial radio stations are all available in most of themajor towns and villages. The radio stations have extended access to their services through online broadcasting transmission which makes them accessi- ble worldwide. Surveys and studies to assess the size, so- cial and locational charac- teristics of radio listeners and television viewers in Botswana have found that radio remains the most pre- ferred and dominant medi- umof mass communication even amongst people living with disability. Radio is eas- ily accessible and adaptable in remote communities and it is seen as a less complica- ted mobile medium that is useful for news, public dia- logue and entertainment. Introduction The 8 th edition of World Radio Day 2019 was com- memorated on 13 th February under the theme “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”, with B OT SWANA AND UN E S C O Commemorating World Radio Day 2019 13 th February, Hukuntsi village, Kgalagadi District 89 BOTSWANA NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO R adio is still the mass media that reaches the widest audience in the world. It is a powerful and low-cost medium even suited to reach remote communities. Serving as a platformfor public debate, radio allows for equal participation and empowers some of the most marginalized groups in our societies, including the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor. The 13 February is a date proclaimed by UNESCO to celebrate radio broad- cast. The Day aims to raise greater awareness among the public and the media on the importance of radio, to encourage decision-makers to estab- lish and provide access to information through radio, and to enhance net- working and international coopera- tion among broadcasters. This Day highlights UNESCO’s com- mitment to bolster communication between all societies for the purpose of deepening mutual understanding through the “free flow of ideas by word and image.” ■