Nepal hosts first South Asian Community Radio Conference

Monday 26 September, 2016


Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB), Nepal, held the first South Asian Community Radio Conference in Kathmandu last month.

It was supported by Asia Pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development ( AIBD), Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and Bangladesh NGO Network for Radio and Communications ( BNNRC) Broadcasting Union.

The theme for the two-day event was ‘Connecting People for Sustainable Change Across the Region’.

It aimed to highlight the role of community radios towards sustaining development efforts being the partners of community and to exchange experiences.

Close to 100 participants and experts from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the UK took part in the conference.

Among the key agendas for discussion in the conference were the role, responsibilities and operation of community radio in South Asia as a means of social empowerment and transformation, its roles in disasters and collaboration with community radios on social causes.

It was inaugurated by the country’s Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, who said in his speech, “community radios are the voices of the people”, and praised their role in connecting with rural communities.

He appreciated the contribution of community radios in establishing the republic in Nepal, which drew the government’s attention to support to their promotion.

According to him, the enforcement of the constitution and the successful completion of the post-earthquake rebuilding drive were the main agenda of the hour, and called on community radios to play a supportive role towards that end.

In his welcome speech, ACORAB Chair Mohan Chapagain said the conference had opened a door for mutual cooperation among the community radio in the region.

UNDP Nepal’s Assistant Country Director Heema Khadka said: “The community radio that easily connects the community has the contribution to sustainable development, socio-economic development and women empowerment.”

World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) Nepal co-chair Min Bahadur Shahi hoped that the conference would prove a milestone in terms of development and promotion of community radios.

National Information Commission Chief Krishnahari Baskota said: “This is an era of information and information is power. The community radios are playing a significant role in protecting individual’s right to information.”

Bangladesh’ Minister for Information Hasanul Haq Inu said the importance of community radio in the South Region was high as it could ensure equality and development.

In her opening remarks Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director, United Nations Asian Pacific training Centre for Information, Communication, Technology for development (APCICT) said: “I’m very happy to see that one of the conference objectives recognises the importance of mainstreaming the development of communication in community radio.”

The conference concluded by issuing the Kathmandu Declaration with the hope that that it would prove to be a guiding document for all community radios across the world.

Country Nepal
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