The Swaziland Community Multimedia Network


Swazi community radio network and civil society’s joint call for broadcasting licenses

MATSAPHA - A clarion call for licensing of community radios in Swaziland has been made by the sector’s network and its civil society partners. This was during the official launch of an advocacy campaign for the passing of the Swaziland Broadcasting Bill on Friday 4th December 2015 held at the University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni campus.

Licensing of community radios in Swaziland is stalled by the non-enactment of the Broadcasting Bill of 2013, which the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is still to table in Parliament.This has been prioritised by the community radio network and local NGOs as an advocacy campaign, themed; “Grant community radio licenses: realize Vision 2022.”

Launching the project, COSPE Director, Elena Gentili, said while its main objective was enactment of the Bill, its overall aim was to provide Swazi citizens with a tool for their own development, even in the most remote areas, each data clearly demonstrates how community radios can be seen as educational tools, tools for the promotion of traditional culture, tools for communication and information-sharing also in the most remote areas, where no other form of media can reach the people, “she said.

Gentili said that they also serve as tools for entertainment, income-promotion, improving awareness and knowledge of solutions to community development problems such as health, hygiene and sanitation, drought, agriculture, human rights and local governance.

Other speakers, mainly the Director of Information at the Ministry of ICT, Phesheya Dube and the Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Swaziland Communications Commission (SCCOM), Ozzie Thakatha, explained progress on the finalization of drafting the Broadcasting Bill and the policy framework and regulations needed to ensure equal access, fairness and transparency for licensing applicants of broadcasting services.

Project Coordinator, Ambrose Zwane, said a keyobjective of the Swaziland Community Multimedia Network (SCMN) was to advocate for a speedy licensing process for community radios. “As a sector, we realized that we could not advocate and lobby for the Broadcasting Bill alone, hence joining hands with like-minded civil society stakeholders in the project,” he said. When we look back, following the universe community radio case studies, Swaziland is one of the worse countries that has been condemned by the international community in many forums. Therefore the entire community radio sector is inspired by the move by government, pipeline programmes that will be implemented by both the office of the Director of Communication and the Swaziland Communications Commission (SCCOM). The establishment of the SCCOM is one of the positive signs that Swaziland will soon have independent media, community radios in particular.

Participants included Community radio initiatives (Matsanjeni Community Radio, Sidvwashini Community Radio, Ngwemphisi Community Radio, Lubombo Community Radio and University Campus Radio), representatives of Arterial Network, Council of Swaziland Churches, Lusweti, Sikuphe Radio, Coordinating Assembly of NGOs (CANGO), American Embassy, staff and students of the journalism and mass communication Department of the university.

SCMN and seven NGOs are jointly implementing the advocacy project, which is facilitated by COSPE and Punto.sud and European Union funded, for twelve months ending in August 2016.



MANKAYANE- Community Radio initiatives and civil organisations were enjoying music,
speeches and drama at Mankayane on the 14 of May 2016. This is the first brodcasting bill campaign road show in Swaziland.

The ICT Management training for the community radio movement in Swaziland has been done.
Four Community radio coordinators has been trained on how to use a computer and internet skills.
The four community radios that has beneffited in the program are Shiselweni Community Radio,
Mankayane Community Radio, UNISWA Campus Radio and Hhohho Community Radio currentlly known as
Sidvwashini Community Radio. The entire program has been sponsored by the World Association
for Christian Communication (WACC). The workshop started from Monday
13 June to 16 June at Park Hotel in Manzini.

Finally, women coalitions under the Hlane constituency has received their equipment to continue with their
radio production axercise. The Swaziland Community Multimedia Network (SCMN) trained Women In Network (WIN)
to be able to produce radio programmes that will be stored in CDs for distribution. The program will enable the
community radio sector in Swaziland a conducive environment to air local content at its best.The program is sponsored by the
European Union and COSPE.