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Radio still remains vital tool available to promote peace and address conflicts:Group



GARISSA—Radio: The only tool available to promote peace and address conflictsRadio remains the most democratic media in Northern Kenya – one of the most immediate ways to reach audiences with facts and the particulars, according to a leading scribes association in the region.

“Even with the birth of social media listeners still count on the radio as a “right now” source for news and information across Northern Kenya,” said Yunis Dekow, the Secretary General Northern Kenya Media Practitioners during this year’s international day for radio.

This year’s world radio day was marked across the world on 13th February, under the theme “Radio and Peace”.

This is a special day that was proclaimed early in 2011 by Unesco members states and later adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to celebrate radio broadcast, improve the international cooperation among radio broadcasters and most importantly check on its impact on the society as a powerful tool.

Yunis Dekow during an interview with Daadab MP, Farah Maalim in 2018. (Courtesy)

The sub-theme of the day is ‘Radio in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding’ and ‘Support to Independent Radio’.

Mr. Yunis Dekow called for increased capacity building for journalists and media engagement with stakeholders to create positive change in their communities in the coming years.

The Secretary General of the media practitioners in Northern Kenya said he was confident and commended all radio stations in the region for playing a vital role in community empowerment and social change.

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) State of the Media Report 2022 released on Monday during celebrations to mark this year’s World Radio Day in Mombasa indicate professionalism, high levels of technology used and diversification of platforms of accessing information as reasons to celebrate Kenya’s media.

The report further indicates that legacy media platforms such as television and newspaper recorded increased usage in 2022 compared to radio.

“Young people aged 18 – 24 years rely mostly on legacy media platforms such as television, radio, and digital platforms such as social media, for information,” read the 2022 MCK report.

People in Northern Kenya rely on radio for information and entertainment more than their counterparts in other parts of the country.

The medium has restored hope to threatened and marginalized communities as people heard messages of hope, cohesion and harmony.

“While operating in most adverse conditions, our members have always spearhead initiatives aiming to bring people together,” he said.

Dekow in a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday while marking the world radio day confirmed commitment to supporting efforts of all journalists operating in the region.

“Community and local radio stations have helped preserve local languages, providing residents with culturally relevant information and combat misinformation,” he added.


The report by MCK shows that 80% of Kenyans rely on television for their information, with the increased subscription rates attributed to the electioneering period and further amplified by the accessibility of the online platforms. Prime news remained most preferred.

In Kenya’s Northern region programs aired in local languages have offered platforms for the youths to showcase their abilities and talents.

“Content and entertainment programmes conducted in their own indigenous local language has given many a sense of belonging, and feeling proud of their language,” said the Secretary General.

He noted that with the support of partners through grants, Issue-based programmes, for example have casted a light on societal inadequacies, structural imbalances, poverty, resource and land disputes as well as corruption.

The organization has called for more collaboration to increase reporting on and exploring options for underlying factors of conflict with journalistic standards.

“In our quest to use media to empower communities, our organization with the support of partners provide emergency funding or structural assistance to radio as a sector, as well as promoting adequate legislation and regulation at National and County level,” said Dekow.

He affirmed commitment to foster radio pluralism and diversity, safeguarding their freedom, facilitating affordable taxes, financial viability, and enabling it as a pillar for conflict prevention and peace-building.


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