Radio for Peacebuilding Africa 

Search for Common Ground launched RFPA in January 2003 aiming to provide a resource for African journalists to produce radio programming that furthers peacebuilding.  To this end, RFPA created a project website (hyperlink: www.radiopeaceafrica.org), guidebooks, trainings, and other resources for African radio journalists.

Beginning in 2007, SFCG shifted the RFPA approach to complement these continent-wide resources with targeted programming in eight countries where SFCG has operational presence, namely: Angola, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. 

RFPA is now in its third three-year phase, working towards an overall goal of improving the population’s access to and understanding of information about policies and decisions that affect their lives. It has three primary objectives:

  • To further strengthen the professionalisation of African media practitioners to provide accurate, credible, balanced, and useful information to the populations that they serve; 

  • To reinforce the skills and motivation of government authorities to effectively communicate on key policies to both the media and their constituents; and

  • To promote the production of and access to programmes that engage media and civil society around conflict and peacebuilding issues

Our History of Success

RFPA has more than 3,000 members representing 100 countries, across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Having produced 7 guidebooks with over 4,800 downloads, carried out more than 90 workshops, and provided coaching and technical assistance to local radio station personnel, RFPA has contributed to significant improvements in the media landscape. Achievements made over the last seven years include having:

  • Built constructive relationships and reached new levels of cooperation between the government, media, and civil society.

  • Increased the capacity of radio stations to accurately cover reforms addressing the underlying causes of war

  • Raised targeted governments’ commitment to using strategic communication

  • Achieved an increase in the general public’s access to policy information, especially policies related to poverty-reduction and development

RFPA has made significant strides in using media to foster communication between policy makers and civil society. During this time, these relationships have transformed, with civil society organizations in targeted sectors taking on roles not only as funding recipients and watchdogs but in direct partnership with government officials.  As a result, the population has reported feeling more ownership over policies, having greater confidence in the government and in its reforms, and finding better socially contextualised outcomes. 

Planned activities for Phase Three include:

  • Developing and distributing journalism and policy training manuals and guidebooks, including materials in French and English that encourage communication between governments and civil society;

  • Introducing texting capabilities to our website through partnership with FrontlineSMS and others to better harness the power of new mobile phones innovations;

  • Launching interactive online and audio courses that promote dialogue and understanding as well as peacebuilding and programming techniques;

  • Offering workshops for county and district-level authorities to discuss the importance of communication strategies, constituent engagement, transparency and accountability and to distribute key documents regarding national policy changes at the local level

  • Engaging national authorities through workshops on strategic communication, gaps in media mapping, and constructive media engagement

  • Organising award competitions for radio programmes that best reflect RPFA’s values, themes, and approach

For more information and access to the resources that RFPA provides, please see www.radiopeaceafrica.org. SFCG greatly appreciates the generous support of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this project.