USAID Open Spaces Hands Over Radio Equipment to 18 Local Radio Stations in Zambia

Speeches Shim

Monday, June 13, 2022
USAID Mission Director, Sheryl Stumbras, stands at a podium giving a speech.
USAID Mission Director, Sheryl Stumbras, speaks at the USAID Radio Equipment Handover Event
USAID Open Spaces

A free and independent media is essential in any democratic society because media shapes public opinions and attitudes. Media is also essential for promoting good governance. By providing unbiased information to the public, the media helps citizens make thoughtful decisions on governance, leadership, and policy priorities for national development. 

An empowered, free, and independent media is a critical component of any thriving democracy.

Through the USAID Open Spaces project, the United States government is helping Zambia strengthen the democratic foundations of freedom of speech and assembly, support independent and new media, and safeguard a space for activists, human rights defenders, and oppositional voices to protect and expand democratic space in Zambia. 

The USAID Open Spaces project supports 19 community radio stations. A tailored, technical needs assessment was conducted to inform the development of a comprehensive and individualized plan for each radio station. Open Spaces then procured supplies and equipment to replace or upgrade current production and broadcasting equipment, as well as provide solar equipment to support long-term sustainability. 

The equipment being donated today includes studio and field microphones, computers, hard drives, and solar equipment and will enable radio stations to collect, process, and transmit news and feature items in a more professional manner and improve their general quality of reporting. 

USAID would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Zambia for its commitment and support to media freedom and professionalism. In order to actualize media freedoms and editorial independence, we urge the Zambian government to continue its support by expediting legal and policy reforms for media freedom. 

We call on the government to expedite its promise for the passage and implementation of the Access to Information law, the review of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act and the review of the IBA Act. This eco-system of laws impacting media independence need to be streamlined with international best practice in order for the media in Zambia to be completely free.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank the radio stations for the critical role you play in informing the public on matters of national interest and especially for reaching the last mile of the Zambian population. 

We are hopeful that the equipment you are receiving today will support you to continue collecting, processing, and transmitting information. While doing this, please continue to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethical practices, counter mis-information and ensure factual reporting. You are the front lines of news in Zambia and for that, we thank you.

Thank you.

D-Marks Florist, Lusaka, Zambia
Issuing Country 

Last updated: August 05, 2022

Share This Page