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Friday, June 8, 2012

Airtel Tanzania, UNESCO partner on rural communications project

UNESCO Project and Communication Officer, Mr Yusuph Al Amin hands over a solar-powered radio to a Masai woman in Ololosokwan village in Loliondo, Arusha Region recently. Under the project, 200 radio sets were handed over to villagers in the area as part of an initiative between Airtel and UNESCO to help in the dissemination of information to rural areas. (Photo courtesy of Airtel).

Airtel Tanzania in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have partnered to improve radio communications across the country.


The partnership seeks to involve the local society to start community radio stations as an effort to disseminate information to remote areas. A statement issued by Airtel in Dar es Salaam on Thursday said that the idea appreciated the importance of communication to the societies that need information to develop socially, politically and economically.

“The decision was reached after learning that many areas miss this important service and left out while still embracing bad cultures such as female genital mutilation, witchcraft beliefs, poverty, violation of human rights and spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Airtel Public Relations Officer, Jane Matinde when visiting a radio station at Ololosokwani in Loliondo, Arusha Region, recently.
Ms Matinde who also serves as the project supervisor added that the company is happy to be associated with the project, using the company’s wide coverage network. “We believe that through community radios, Tanzanians across the country will be able to access education and ultimately improve their lives economically.

Airtel is the only network that is available at Ololosokwan, so it shows our commitment to reach many people especially in the rural areas,” she said. On his part, UNESCO Project and Communication Officer, Mr Yusuph Al Amin said that the radio service in Ololosokwan will connect Masai with the rest of the world as well as advocating their culture and traditions while accessing formal education.

“We thank our partners Airtel for cooperating with us to implement this project which will be covering 14 villages when the broadcasting starts.” Mr Al-Amin added that UNESCO has also introduced a multimedia centre project that will offer access to Masai women and students to use internet service in the area.

He said the Ololosokwan Community Radio project will be officially launched at the end of this month. He said that similar projects would be launched in different regions such as Kyela in Mbeya, Uvinza in Kigoma and Pemba.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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