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ZACRAS 2011 Harare declaration
Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
June 24, 2011

Participants from Harare, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Kariba, Masvingo, Hwange, Mutare, Plumtree and Gwanda present at the Community Radios Symposium in Harare organized by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS), from 17 to 18 June 2011;

Recognizing that the commitments encompassed in the Millennium Development Goals demand policy development and advocacy for the development of communication systems and media public debate platforms to ensure that people's participation and voices are reflected in the decisions that relate to their development;

  • Recalling the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press;
  • Recalling Article 19 of the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement of 2008;
  • Recalling Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • Recalling the Broadcasting Services Act of 2001,
  • Recalling the African Commission on Human and People's Rights Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa of 2002;
  • Recalling the 2001 African Charter on Broadcasting;
  • Recalling the 2001 SADC Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Declaration;
  • Reaffirming the importance of an enabling legal framework together with sincere political will and an Independent Regulatory Authority to promote the development and existence of bona fide independent Community Radio Stations in Zimbabwe;
  • Reaffirming the need to introduce and manage essential information and communication technologies for community-centred socio-economic development; thus

Call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to:

(a) Implement legal provisions for licensing independent community radio stations in Zimbabwe;

(b) Facilitate dialogue among government, international and regional intergovernmental organisations, civil society and development agencies in Zimbabwe to promote community radios in alleviating poverty and promoting democracy and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

Participants recommend that the Government of Zimbabwe collaborates with ZACRAS, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC) to:

  • Survey the development needs and capacities of community radio stations in Zimbabwe using the Media Development Indicators endorsed by the Inter-Governmental Council of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication;
  • Make provisions for the creation of policies, legislation and resources to support community radios in Zimbabwe;
  • Develop a time-bound and results-based strategic plan to support the development of community radio stations in Zimbabwe;
  • Introduce and strengthen partnership possibilities among local stakeholders including local/provincial government, civil society and business sector for the establishment and sustainability of community radio stations;
  • Foster the development of national community networks and strengthen the capacity of community radio stations and community radio practitioners including their awareness on the impact of digital migration on community radio stations;
  • Initiate exchange programmes and document best practices and experience in managing and sustaining community radios including mainstreaming programming to cater for marginalized groups and HIV/AIDS prevention in the workplace.

The participants at the symposium adopted these recommendations and resolve to take all positive measures necessary to promote community radios in Zimbabwe.

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