SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

World Radio Day London: New Perspectives on Traditional Radio

World Radio Day London Image

Date: 13 February 2012Time: 4:00 PM

Finishes: 13 February 2012Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Room G2

Type of Event: Workshop

Since the first broadcast over 100 years ago, radio has proved to be a powerful information source for mobilising social change and a focal point for community life. In recognition, UNESCO have announced 13th February as World Radio Day and to celebrate, a variety of practitioners, academics and tools providers are coming together to the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to explore ways in which this traditional platform reaches even the most remote and vulnerable communities. Significant attention has been given to revolutions in information communications, including social media, yet it is important to remember that radio is still the world’s most active, localized broadcast technology.

UNESCO has noted that radio is a “low cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people”. Because radio is a free and accessible platform, it plays a crucial role in promoting development, improving livelihoods and supporting access to education.  Put it simply, you don’t need an app or the Internet to access the radio!

Themes to cover will be the challenge of how different technologies - whether a solar powered radio or a mobile phone for audience interaction - can serve to change the way in which radio is used as a platform for engagement. When communities take ownership into their own hands, radio represents a powerful tool for development and empowerment. Discussion will cover entrepreneurship in radio stations’ business models and obstacles of politicisation of the airwaves and the challenges in staying financially sustainable, as well as access to radio broadcasts.  

Radio serves as a platform to support communication in a plethora of sectors, in education agriculture and governance and it has a specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. We are inviting students, staff and guests with an interest in community radio and development communications to take part.

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World Radio Day London: New Perspectives on Traditional Radio



  • Guy Berger (UNESCO)
  • Dr Chege Githiora (SOAS)
  • Birgitte Jallov (Empowerhouse)
  • Carlos Chirinos (SOAS Radio) 
  • Linje Manyozo (LSE)
  • Amy O’Donnell (FrontlineSMS:Radio)


Dr Lucy Duran
(SOAS, BBC Radio 3)

This event is free, but you need to register.

To register your attendance please follow this link: 

This event is organised by SOAS Radio and the Centre of African Studies at SOAS, in association with Lifeline Energy, FrontlineSMS and Empowerhouse.

Organiser: SOAS Radio, CAS

Contact email: