Community Radio Broadcasting and Local Governance Participation in Ghana: A Study of Simli Radio in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.

Amadu, Mohammed Faisal 2023. Community Radio Broadcasting and Local Governance Participation in Ghana: A Study of Simli Radio in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster School of Media and Communication https://doi.org/10.34737/w41zq

TitleCommunity Radio Broadcasting and Local Governance Participation in Ghana: A Study of Simli Radio in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsAmadu, Mohammed Faisal
Abstract

This research explores the nexus between community radio and local community participation in decentralized local governance in the Ghanaian context. It is based on a case study of the Kumbungu District in the Northern region. Ghana has implemented a local government programme under its decentralised reforms since 1988, and this was primarily aimed at stimulating the active participation of ordinary citizens in the affairs of governance and in development intervention at the local community level, yet the available evidence highlights poor community participation in district level government business. Community radio has long been established as a communication tool that amplifies marginalised voices in democratic societies that are relative to identity formation and community development. However, there are very few academic discussions that explore the contribution of community radio in addressing the concerns relating to poor local community participation in decentralized local governance in Ghana.

Employing qualitative research approaches for the data collection, a key question that this research addresses is how, and why, poor local community participation and weaknesses in local accountability in the country’s decentralised reforms are linked to an inadequate flow of communication and the lack of legitimate mechanisms with which to amplify the voices of ordinary members of the community. Additionally, this research explores the question of how CR is addressing the failure of existing communication systems in the local government structures to facilitate active citizengovernment dialogue and a synergy that strengthens the articulation of community voices and enhances the responsiveness of local government policies and initiatives.

The study found that the poor community participation in local governance is due to the failure of the local assembly to incorporate into their mobilisation strategies and administrative structures effective, credible and trustworthy communication systems that guarantee the best interests of the local people. The research established that the concerns relating to low community participation in local government activities in Ghana is linked to the lack of access to local government information, as the civic education campaigns of district assemblies fail to address key factors that undermine local community participation in local governance.

In the particular case of Simli Radio, the research found that the station encourages creative expressions and contributes to democratic processes at the local level through participatory programming, open access to its facilities and the stimulation of the local community’s sense of identity and ownership of the station, thus enabling the local community to contribute to issues that affect their daily political and socioeconomic lives. Simli Radio’s open access allows local people to focus on local issues, giving voice to groups and individuals who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to express their views, to hold local authority leaders accountable and to act in the best interests of the local community.

Year2023
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
ProjectCommunity Radio Broadcasting and Local Governance Participation in Ghana: A Study of Simli Radio in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
Published18 Apr 2023
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/w41zq

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