By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Independent Media Commission (IMC), in a significant gesture of support, on Tuesday August 22, 2023, generously provided a desk-top computer and two transistor solar-powered radio sets to Radio Kolenten FM 90.7, located in the Kambia District of the North-West Region. The formal presentation of these valuable resources took place at the IMC’s headquarters on 54 Siaka Steven Street in Freetown.
During the ceremony, Khalil Kallon, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, highlighted the pioneering nature of the donation, introduced by IMC’s Chairman, Dr. Victor Massaquoi. Kallon explained that this initiative stemmed from the insights gained during the Commission’s comprehensive nationwide inspections conducted in 2022. These inspections shed light on the specific needs of community radio stations. Kallon emphasized that the donation exemplifies the IMC’s commitment to addressing the pressing challenges confronted by community radio stations across the country. The selection process for the recipients was based solely on adherence to regulations and demonstrated merit.
Dr. Victor Massaquoi, the Chairman of the IMC, formally handed over the items to Ibrahim Janneh, the Station Manager of Radio Kolenten FM 90.7. Dr. Massaquoi shared that the inspiration behind this donation came from the multitude of challenges identified during the media inspection in 2022. The Commission’s response included formulating concept notes and approaching various institutions and organizations interested in supporting community development initiatives. The generous contribution, comprising two desktop computers and 20 solar-powered transistor radio sets, was made possible with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone. These radio sets are slated to be distributed to 10 community radio stations throughout the nation, while the two desktop computers have been allocated to Moyamba District Children’s Awareness Radio (MODCAR) in Moyamba District and Kolenten Radio in Kambia District.
Citing Section 11 (b) of the IMC Act 2020, Dr. Massaquoi underscored that the Commission’s key role is to enhance the efficiency of media institutions in delivering media services. He revealed the Commission’s forthcoming plan to establish a transmitter pool specifically catering to community radio stations. This strategic move aims to swiftly address transmitter malfunctions, ensuring uninterrupted broadcasting. Dr. Massaquoi accentuated the pivotal role community radio stations play in facilitating democratic discourse by giving a voice to the marginalized. However, he lamented that many of these stations are grappling with non-functional transmitters due to technical inadequacies in their installation.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of Radio Kolenten 90.7 FM, Ibrahim Janneh, the Station Manager, conveyed the station’s elation at this unexpected and much-needed support. He assured that this benevolent gesture would be communicated not only to the station’s Board and staff but also to the wider Kambia District and North-West Region. Janneh affirmed Radio Kolenten’s steadfast commitment to upholding both the IMC Act 2020 and its corresponding regulations.