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January 2004

Announcement of a publication

The state of communication for development in Niger

Volumes 1 and 2

This two-volume publication addresses communication for development in Niger. Communication policies are recognized today as a critical element to the economic, social and cultural development of countries.

Niger was an early susbcriber to this idea. In the years following independence, the country attempted to mobilize its population in order to obtain their support and their involvement in guiding development attempts. An ambitious communication programme utilising various methodologies was initiated. However, efforts were thwarted by the large land area to be covered, and the virtual non-existence of infrastructure and modern transportation networks. These realities led policy makers to consider emerging tools of mass communication, primarily radio transmission. To optimise the potential for radio and to ensure that it could effectively overcome the obstacles of a diverse population spread over wide territories, it was necessary to ensure that: transmissions would cover the different regions of the country; and programmes took into account the diverse populations and their related needs (e.g. regional, social and linguistic differences.)

Currently, radio programmes reach almost all regions of the country. The programmes are broadcast in five national languages, in addition to French. The programmes address the problems and issues important to the majority of the population, which is primarily rural. All programmes attempt to allow rural people to voice their concerns and promote dialogue between the administration and the rural population.

With the development of the transistor radio, radio has rapidly become the faithful companion of the shepards, blacksmiths and those at work at their weaving-looms. It speaks to them in their local language, with words they understand, of the problems and concerns they have and of situations familiar to them. It speaks to them of a world about which they are rapidly learning.

This document examines what has been done with communications policies in Niger and the tremendous amount of work still to do. Primarily, the publication touches upon the following areas: newspapers and magazine (in French and local languages, private and public); public radio transmissions and rural radio; television and video; tradiotional methods of communication; communication technologies (radio, television and print); new information and communication technologies (ICTs); communication tools; communication for development training; government communications strategies; and legal and institutional issues of communication.

(Only available in French)

Click here to view Volume 1 and here for Volume 2.

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