The Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) has appealed to government for subvention to enable them carry out their mandate of disseminating, entertaining and informing the grassroots on policies and programmes of government.
It said over the years, community radio stations had positively impacted on the growing participation of the voiceless on government issues as well as promoting peaceful atmosphere in the various communities they operate.
"We have operational challenges, financial sustainability is a daily concern; our biggest problem is cost of electricity, and as a non-profit organisation we enjoy no subsidies," Professor Alex T. Quarmyne, Founding Elder, GCRN, said this last Wednesday at a public lecture in Accra.
It was organised in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on the topic, "Community radio and the journey to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Voice to the last voiced to leave no one behind."
The GCRN is the association of community radio stations in Ghana. It comprises of 24 radio stations and one television station.
Prof. Quarmyne said although community radio stations had played and "continues to play a major role in educating the masses on government policies such as the SDGs, elections, sanitation among others," operational cost was challenging.
He said absence of enabling environment, dating back to the deregulation of broadcasting in Ghana in 1995, was among the many challenges facing community radios.
He said community radio do not have the enabling environment to carry out their vision to reach a high audience due to limited frequency space.
"Over a decade ago, at the World Press Freedom Day celebration in 2006, we spoke about how it took Radio Afram Plains, serving the poorest areas in Ghana, six years to get its frequency.
"Nothing has changed, as we continue to struggle to acquire frequency to serve deprived communities, due to our love to educate the poor on significant topics on governance, education and health, among others," he said.
President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Affail Monney said challenges GCRN faced call for national concern, as they struggle to meet operational cost to stay relevant in the system.
He noted that many national issues were disseminated to the grassroots through the support of GCRN, noting that GJA as part of its 70th anniversary would partner with GCRN to identify and award members whose contributions had positively impacted the sector.