Radio in Africa


Create a Buzz around the Brand

The ways in which people access information are rapidly evolving; however the reach of new media is far from being uniformed throughout the countries. Reliable Internet connections are out of reach for most citizens. Traditional media continues to play dominant roles in informing people; albeit via new media mediums. For example, people will use the Internet to access a newspaper’s website or they will listen to radio stations via their cell phones.

According to AudienceScapes survey conducted among 2000 adults who are above the age of 15 in Kenya, 85% of the interviewee's reported that radio remains the most widely used media platform. Mobile phones are increasingly widespread, but yet they have not reach the near-universal coverage of radio. In addition, even if if mobile phones have become more accessible for general use, they are still not used as a formal source for news collection via SMS
Radio is the most traditional form of media in Africa, and yet the majority of the population relies on the radio to get most of the sources of their news. Therefore, this is a chance for Africa Investigates to increase their visibility, by advertising about their documentaries on the radio. In addition, the interview conducted with Rhoda Gachui, a kenyan journalist and documentary filmaker confirmed that the radio remain one of the most media forms used to access information.

Reaching out to Diverse Population

Rural Areas

Individuals living in rural areas have significantly lower access to most media platforms. So the advantage of considering the radio is that it allows to reach out to people in rural places who usually do not have access to social media tools even the most popular ones such as mobile phones. In Uganda, rural population mostly relies heavily on radio to stay informed as well as to communicate with each other via talk shows and other formats. Africa Investigates can use the radio as a way to reach out to the target audience.
The chart below shows relative levels of trust expressed by respondents regarding the source of media they use for news and information. According to AudienceScapes survey conducted among 2051 adults in Ghana, 95% of the respondents reported that the radio is a trustworthy source for news compared with only 30% who feel rely on SMS as a trustworthy source.


Various social classes

The use of radio in urban areas is also considered high, even though the use of new media platforms tend to be high in certain places, their use remain limited due to their costs. So Africa Investigates has the opportunity to reach out to different social classes of individuals.

A common problem associated with the new media tools is that a big number of illiterate people do not know to use them. But with the use of radio, this problem does not exist.

Strategies for Africa Investigates

  • Locate the trustworthy and popular stations in order to increase greater visibility. The table below shows the central region in Uganda has the most crowded radio market and locates the most trusty worthy stations.
  • Use the radio to advertise about their documentaries in order to reach out to large number of population in urban and rural areas.
  • Transform their documentaries to radio stories, every other month they could organize a session on the radio to tell one of the stories of their documentaries.
  • Promotional activities: To engage the audience, Africa investigate could organize activities on the radio such as quizzes, where they would ask people to answer questions regarding the documentaries and the winners will get a prize.


  • It might be a costly at the beginning to use the radio, because it will not generate revenue in the short term.
  • In several countries, several dialects are used in the same country, therefore Africa Investigates should be able to provide the programs with the different dialects.

Return to Main Page

  1. ^