Radio Maendeleo , South Kivu

Radio Maendeleo is a registered NGO with the provincial government.


Bukavu, South Kivu province
South Kivu

Sectors of Intervention

Media; good governance


In 1993, 13 NGOs in South Kivu started Radio Maendeleo to create an independentsource of news and an alternative to religious broadcasts and the state-run media that were a meansof propaganda for the Mobutu regime. The start of Radio Maendeleo was tied to the broader nationalmovement toward democratization in DRC (then Zaire). CRONGD (the network for local NGOs)and ISDR (Technical Rural Development Institute) coordinated the radio station’s launch. Duringthe war years, the radio station was taken over, shut down, and looted. Between 1999 and 2001, therebel movement RCD-Goma (Rassemblement congolaise pour la démocratie–Goma) shut downRadio Maendeleo, which had become very critical of the human rights abuses taking place during thewar. Even with international pressure and local lobbying, RCD-Goma kept the radio station closed.Finally, in 2001, with the help of visiting international dignitaries, Radio Maendeleo was permittedto start broadcasting again. In 2002, RCD-Goma again shut down the radio station for two months.

Today, Radio Maendeleo is well respected in South Kivu. It uses a participatory approach in its work,allowing people to call in and discuss issues on air. However, the radio station still faces challengesfrom government authorities. In December 2010, a Radio Maendeleo journalist was injured in analtercation with agents from the intelligence service ANR, who had come to arrest him. This journalisthad participated in a television broadcast in which three opposition politicians criticized Uvira municipalofficials for alleged mismanagement. After being treated at a hospital in Uvira, the journalist apparentlywent into hiding.USAID’s Request for Funding (RFA) for media sector development in DRCsingled out Radio Maendeleo, stating:

It should be noted that individual journalists and outlets, particularly the U.N.-supportedRadio Okapi, and well established community media, such as South Kivu’s Radio Maendeleo, can and do generate solid, professional media products. However, quality journalismrepresents the uncommon exception, rather than the norm.

Radio Maendeleo has 120 community radio clubs that serve as sources of information andsupport for the station. Radio Maendeleo has worked with international funders, such as theNational Endowment for Democracy, IRIN, CORDAID, and IFDC.


Ensure that the population has access to unbiased information with which to make informed decisions about their lives


  • Promote and disseminate information on different development initiatives achieved by the population
  • Support the objectives of their members and partners in the sectors of communication, information, and training
  • Support training and informing the population on different techniques and possibilities of social and economic development
  • Focus on and promote different processes of communication and sharing of experiences among local communities and organizations in regard to the implementation of development programs
  • Reinforce local community structures through education and workshops to engage in the promotion of citizens’ rights and liberties, as well as to promote the support of democratic values

Populations Served

The general population


  • Civic education: Radio Maendeleo informs people about their roles and responsibilities as citizens, as well as about their right and responsibility to hold the government accountable.
  • News: Radio Maendeleo broadcasts general news programs on the country and the province, using a unique system of local correspondents equipped with mobile phones to report on what is happening in outlying areas that are difficult for journalists to access. Radio Maendeleo trains these correspondents on basic reporting and pays them $50 per month plus transportation costs (as applicable).
  • NGOs: The radio station offers space (at 250 FC per minute) for NGOs to broadcast information about their work and for use as an advocacy and lobbying or marketing tool. Priority goes to its members; however, all organizations have the right to broadcast on Maendeleo.
  • Special programming: Radio Maendelo offers programs aimed at different sectors of the population (youths, women, etc.), for debates, discussions, and dissemination of relevant information.


The supreme governing body is the general assembly, which is currently made up ofrepresentatives from the 20 NGOs that sponsor Radio Maendeleo. The general assembly meets annually,authorizes the budget, and provides strategic guidance. The general assembly selects three of thefive members of the board of directors; the other two members represent the two main founding andcoordinating bodies (CRONGD and ISDR). The board meets four times a year and monitors theradio station’s operations. A control commission elected by the board of directors conducts internalaudits and reviews, and reports to the board. Radio Maendeleo has 19 permanent employees, including11 journalists and three technicians. It also hires eight journalists for contract work.

Radio Maendeleo has an account with BCDC in Bukavu. For financial, administrative, and personnelmanagement, Radio Maendeleo has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management, hiring and personnel issues, and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
  • A computerized accounting system: NO
  • A clearly defined accounting process: YES
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES


  • Widely recognized and popular in South Kivu
  • Democratic internal processes
  • Has necessary equipment and staff to accomplish its work


  • Reliable sources of funding; multiyear funding
  • Access to a stable electricity supply
  • New radio equipment
  • Better access to information about current affairs around the world
  • Training for journalists and staff working in information technology and finance

Funders and Budget

For 2010, Radio Maendeleo’s budget was $599,954. The radio station gets funding from IRIN, the National Endowment for Democracy, CORDAID, MISEREOR, and IFDC.


  • Reopened after three closures during the conflict period
  • Has developed 120 radio clubs in 12 different areas in South Kivu
  • Established a system of rural correspondents with 11 journalists, eight support journalists, and dozens of rural correspondents
  • Was the first noncommercial associative radio in DRC and the first radio station to openly push for free speech

Organizational Vision

Improve the quality of journalism on the radio and increase the number of people listening to Radio Maendeleo

Project Proposals

  • Increasing the power and reach of Radio Maendeleo: Radio Maendeleo seeks funds to establish a relay station that will increase the strength of its signal and extend its reach to the Uvira area. This project will pay for the necessary equipment, including a tower, transmitter, and solar panels, as well as installation and maintenance. Cost: $19,300
  • Community education about the November 2011 elections: Radio Maendeleo proposes producing a series of broadcasts about the electoral process, organizing on-air roundtable discussions about the elections, and translating relevant legal texts and election related information in various local languages. Cost: $65,000.
  • Building organizational capacity: Radio Maendeleo seeks funds to gain Internet access, pay the station’s staff for one year, and acquire new office equipment, including a computer, printer, and office furniture. Cost: $53,405


Mr. Kizito, director, +243.997.708.810,

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