Minister of Information Gospel Kazako says government has set aside K3.2 billion for community radio stations to cushion them from their financial challenges.
The minister said this after touring Nkhotakota Community Radio on Thursday, stressing that the funds will be given to radio stations which remit monthly levies to the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).
He said: “We know that community radio stations are instrumental in advancing the development agenda, but they are in financial problems which is affecting their daily operations.”
Kazako said Macra will organise a training for community radio stations on resource mobilisation, further asking the radio stations to desist from spreading fake news.
On his part, Macra director general Henry Shamu said the regulator will soon review its database before issuing out money from its universal service fund.
He said Macra is impressed with how community radio stations are operating despite challenges.
Nkhotakota Community Radio station manager Anne Kamala said they lack financial and technical support to smoothly discharge their functions.
She said: “We are operating in a difficult environment as we lack equipment such as computers as well as recorders. We appeal to the government to assist us.”
Kamala has since asked Macra to consider revising the annual levy which community radio stations remit, saying Covid-19 has negatively affected the business environment which they rely on to generate revenue.