Community radios in Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo are most often faced with insufficient material, financial and technical resources to meet their editorial needs.
However, with new information and communication technologies, it is nowadays possible to maximize your audience and attract more advertisers on the radio and also on online platforms.
It is in this context that the Internews organization and the Online Media Association in the DRC with funding from the European Union accompanied by the Ministry of Digital and Kinshasa organized a Radio Hackathon in Goma from January 28 to 29, 2022.,
which targets young web developers, aims to:
- set up a digital solution to enable community radio stations to increase their income through the broadcasting of advertisements;
- increase the audience of community radios via new broadcasting channels.
Organization of the Radio Hackathon
During the 2 days of the Radio Hackathon in Goma, 5 teams of young developers presented themselves before a team of judges made up of experts in the design of digital solutions and in audiovisual communication.
These are the teams:
- Vnews: which develops the “Validate News” solution;
- HackRangers: which develops the “Farida” solution;
- Fidba: which is developing the “RaGô” solution, which means Radio de Goma;
- Resource Engineering: which develops the “VARION” solution;
- DataSaid: which develops the “Spotradio Market” solution.
After the presentation of all five digital solutions, a team caught the attention of the jury. This is the HackRangers that has put together an application called FARIDA.
According to Providence Baraka, one of the web developers on this team, their digital solution is a response to the needs of increasing radio audiences and maximizing revenue.
“Imagine a community radio on the one hand that wants to increase its revenues in order to pursue its social mission. Apart from being listened to in the community, the radio will have a much wider audience throughout the world. Just press a button.
On the other hand, an advertiser, a company or an organization which has a message, a press release which it wants to pass to the community and does not know on which radio station to deposit its message, our solution is an answer to its problem .
It is in this context that we were able to design our system called FARIDA, a multi-platform system that works on IOS, Android, the Web and on small2nd generation telephones”, explains Providence Baraka.
Accessibility to the FARIDA Application
“The solution is inclusive because all sections of the community can use it. This solution does not require a lot of digital knowledge for its use.
The solution is also collaborative because community radios and advertisers can use it at the same time.
The FARIDA application is accessible with or without internet”, indicates Providence.
It is up to him to add that this FARIDA solution responds to the problem: how to allow community radio stations to have more income and to broaden their audience by offering functionalities such as:
- Creation of an account;
- The creation of a profile;
- Receiving press releases through the platform;
- Visualization of the payments that have been made in order to place certain advertisements;
- Receive certain notifications when an ad is left on the platform knowing that community radios have low internet accessibility.
Presentation of the interfaces of the FARIDA solution
Moïse Nturubika, part of the HackRangers team, explains that the FARIDA solution will have 3 major interfaces:
- The interface for streaming the radio;
- The interface for inserting an ad followed by mobile money payment methods;
- The sms interface in the form of a Chatbot to guide users who do not have access to the internet in order to make it easier for them to advertise.
The HackRangers are currently continuing a series of works for the improvement of their mobile solution in an incubation program at the end of this Hackathon Radio.
The members of the HackRangers team who created the FARIDA application are 5 in number, including a woman with profiles of web developers and communication experts:
- Baraka Bigega Espoir, Male;
- Ormiel Mihigo, Wife;
- Akilimali Chizungu, Male;
- Moses Nturubika, Male;
- Providence Baraka, Male.
Note that the HackRangers group for its FARIDA solution came out first during this competition and won a prize of 2,500 US dollars to improve its solution. Second place in this competition was taken by the FIDBA group, which implemented another digital solution called “RaGô” which means Radio de Goma and won a prize of 1,500 US dollars to continue their research.
Radio Coach at the Radio Hackathon & Journalist at Radio Tayna/DRC