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Southern Sudan approves eight FM radio stations

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by Paris-based Sudanese newspaper Sudan Tribune website on 18 August

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has approved eight FM Radio stations to private investors in southern Sudan to assist in information dissemination, educative and entreating programmes service to the public, the acting undersecretary of the ministry, Mustafa Biong has said.

In a follow-up interview in his office, on August 14, Biong released the names of the private FM Radio stations officially licensed by GOSS [Government of Southern Sudan] Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as: Capital FM based in Juba of Central Equatoria State, Liberty FM based both in Juba and Yei of Central Equatoria State, Miraya FM based in Juba of Central Equatoria state including Malakal of Upper Nile state, Rumbek of Lakes state and Wau of Bahr Al-Ghazal state, Bakhita FM based in Juba of Central Equatoria State, Rumbek FM based in Rumbek of Lakes State, Ngun Kata religious FM based in Kaya of Central Equatoria State, Catholic FM based in Yambio of Western Equator! ia State, Warrap FM base in Warrap State and the latest FM station approved is Mango FM radio to be stationed in Juba of Central Equatoria State.

The ministry also received application from southern Sudanese in America Diaspora seeking for establishment of a private TV station and it is being studied by a technical committee, and it could be the first ever private TV station to be licensed by GOSS in the history of southern Sudan.

Biong reiterated that the only condition the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would impose on owners of the FM Radio station is allotment of a free air time of 18 per cent broadcast dedicated by the owner to educational and informative programmes than heavily relying on advertisement and music playing to the listeners.

FM radio will cost about 10000 US dollars including installation and construction of studio.

Biong further said that the GOSS Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will supply ! each of the ten states of southern Sudan with FM radio in order to ass ist each state in disseminating information about the CPA education, the coming National Population Census, General Election and Referendum in year 2011 among other educative and informative programmes.

The acting undersecretary said plans are in advance stage of sending technicians to Khartoum for transporting the ten FM Radio equipment to the respective states soonest and by December this year, he said, the first four government sponsored FM radio stations will be operational in four states of Western Equatoria, Warrap, Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria respectively.

Adding that the coming national population census including general election, the ten states of southern Sudan would by then be enjoying information relay through their respective states FM radio broadcasting.

The radio was and is still an effective tool for informing, educating and entreating large audience; however, at peace time now, The minister of information and Broadca! sting, Samson Kwaje stated that GoSS is facing many challenges of professional trained information officers that could match the new information technology including acquisition of modern equipment among others.

Kwaje has recently called on southern Sudanese in Diaspora to take leads in investing in FM radio and TV stations production in the ten states of southern Sudan as a business and assured Diaspora that his ministry will give first priority to the interested Sudanese investors when it comes to issuing licence for operation.

Source: Sudan Tribune website, Paris in English 18 Aug 07


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