Radio

According to Target, “radio is the number one medium in all provinces except Katanga, Kinshasa and Kongo-Central, where television is in the lead. The Internet and cable channels scored highest in Kinshasa (48 percent) and Kongo Central (30 percent) respectively.” Radio is the most followed media in the DRC especially in out of Kinshasa and other Congolese towns. One of the reasons is that radio receivers are often easy to carry and portable, and sometimes don’t require a supply of electrical energy to operate. Electricity is often subject to shortages in the DRC, which in this case is compensated by portable generators or batteries. The audience of radio has increased of 11 percent, from 61 to 72 percent from 2017 to 2018 against only 48 percent for television, according to Target.

Alongside the Congolese National Radiotelevision (RNTC), which is the public radio and television channel established throughout the country, several private radio stations operate, including private commercial radio stations and private community and associative radio stations. There are also denominational radio stations created by so-called revivalist church promoters, most of them without a precise status. The Catholic Church and the Kimbanguist Church have also created radios, which seem to work in a more structured way, with a more or less precise and stable editorial line, whereas on the whole the other media created by church promoters are meant almost essentially to exalt their creators. Public radio, exclusively in the hands of supporters of successive political regimes in Kinshasa from the times of the dictatorial regime of Mobutu to this day, as well as private radio stations, have very limited coverage radius of times to a single province. Radio Maendeleo (community and associative radio) which transmits from Bukavu is one of the exceptions and covers a part of Burundi and Rwanda too.

In the hinterland, associative and community radios are an important bulwark (sometimes the only bulwark) of access to information for the population. Radio Okapi, which is a joint project of the United Nations and Fondation Hirondelle, seems to cover the gap left by all these other radio stations and covers the whole country by distributing speech in a much more structured and relatively equitable way. This radio covers quite all the areas of the situation of the country especially issues regarding peace and development. It often organizes debates between politicians from the regime and opponents, giving also possibility to civil society organisations and to the population from all over the country to express themselves on several challenges they face daily. Its audience is nation-wide. Moreover, which makes a big difference with other Congolese Medias, Okapi radio does not ask for payment when covering events. Several hundreds of associative and community radios of the DRC are united in the Fédération des Radios de Proximité de la R.D. Congo (Federation of Local Radio Stations of the Congo - FRPC) which is an association functioning as a platform for its members. It replaced the ARCO (Community Radio Association of Congo).