3 December 2017

Zambia: Ease Radio Licence Renewal - Media Liason Committee

The Media Liaison Committee has urged the Government, through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, to put in place measures to ease the radio licence renewal.

MLC chairperson Enock Ngoma told the Sunday Times in an interview that the committee was of the view that ZICTA, IBA and the Ministry of Information should consider revisiting the issue of radio licensing.

Mr Ngoma also lamented the licence fees which he described as exorbitant and beyond reach for many smaller stations.

"As Media Liaison Committee, we feel it is still cumbersome for one to get a radio licence. We feel a one-stop shop should be put in place where registration and licensing processes can be done at once," Mr Ngoma said.

He said it had become extremely difficult to run a radio station in Zambia with the high cost of production under the Information and Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and Zambia Information Communication Technological Authority (ZICTA).

IBA director general Josephine Mapoma said talks were underway to find a more convenient way of handling the radio licence process.

Ms Mapoma said a radio station could not run without a certificate from IBA as well as a frequency which was allocated by ZICTA upon satisfying the requirements.

"Talks are on-going and soon we will have everything under one roof because we need to hear and address the plight of these radio station owners," Ms Mapoma said.

Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services announced that more than 100 radio stations had their licences had expired, a situation that many radio owners described as cumbersome.

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