Arusha — AIRTEL Tanzania in partnership with Unesco has unveiled a programme that will enrich communities living in the rural areas with news and information for their development.
The partnership was demonstrated during the launch at the weekend of the Community radio at Ololosokwani village in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, where the local Maasai community witnessed the first construction of a rural radio broadcast station in the village.
The Airtel and Unesco partnership in Ololosokwani Community Radio has also seen the involvement of other partners such as Oxfam who funded and facilitated the premises as well as a local based NGO, RAMAT, which will manage and run the projects in Ololosokwani.
Speaking during the launch of the project, the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Professor Makame Mnyaa Mbarawa, said:
"I would like to extend my gratitude to Airtel, UNESCO, Oxfam and RAMAT for their efforts towards communication development through the establishment of a Community radio and Multimedia centre at Ololosokwani. "I am confident that the community radio project will connect most of the rural areas to the rest of the world and facilitate them with radio communication."
He added: "My Ministry is at the forefront of ensuring that all communities in our nation are adequately served by all forms of communication tools that empower social and economic transformation.
"The community in Ololosokwani and neighbouring villages will have access to information relating to business, social, political and cultural developments that will eventually have a positive impact." Airtel Communications and Regulatory Affairs Director, Ms Beatrice Singano Mallya said:
"Airtel is proud to be part of the community transformation and we want to deliver positive impact to rural communities that we work through extension of our network coverage and partnerships that empower." She said the establishment of the community radio and extensive rural coverage in the Kilimanjaro province is a testimony to Airtel's commitment to supporting rural communities.
She added: "We also believe our products and services available at Ololosokwan such as Airtel money service will facilitate the Maasai community with basic financial services including bill payment and deposit of their funds in a most secured manner."
Airtel, Unesco Community radio project is focused on marginalised communities issues such as witchcraft, HIV/Aids transmission, FGM, illiteracy and girl child education. The firm has plans to have community radio in other districts including Sengerema, Mwanza, Karagwe, Bukoba, Chake Chake, Makunduchi Unguja, Pangani Tanga, Kyela, Mbeya and Mkalama.