Zambians could enjoy national airwaves in the near future after the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) announced it had begun assessing and exploring the possibilities of radio expansion.
The Zambian government has recently appointed ZICTA as consultant to open the airwaves for nationwide radio, said Amos Malupenga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The goal is to give radio stations a bigger broadcasting scope and provide Zambian listeners with wider access to news and entertainment.
The outcome will be revealed once technical reports have been discussed between the government and ZICTA.p>
Despite the delay in confirmation, several Lusaka stations are ready for launch. Oscar Chavula, Hot FM Director, said he is preparing to broadcast countrywide as he awaits an equipment order, to enable his station to appeal to a larger group of listeners.
Maurice Mweene, Joy FM station manager, commended the move for the easy access it will give the nation to information.
The reigning Patriotic Front party in Zambia made a pre-election promise to increase radio access as part of fostering change in the country. Radio stations are currently operated and broadcasted on a community basis.
The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) operates three radio services, named Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 4. The first service is available in seven languages, and the other two in English.
Zambia’s airwave zones are divided into five regions, starting with the areas in Lusaka and Kabwe and expanding to the north central, north eastern and southern parts of the country.
There are currently more than 20 local radio stations, of which almost half are religious. The majority also stream live on the Internet.