On February 27th, the ZimMedia21 Programme was launched in Avondale, Harare. The Programme is meant to strengthen citizen engagement in marginalised rural and urban communities through innovative media and communication platforms. It is implemented by local media civil society organisations with technical support from Fojo and our Danish partners IMS, with funding from the Swedish Embassy in Zimbabwe.
Dr. Major Anyway Mutambudzi, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services Monica Mutsvangwa, commended the initiative and expressed support for the programme as it seeks to promote access to information on development, governance, gender and citizenship participation in marginalised communities. He indicated that the programme shares the ministry’s vision of enhancing sustainability as well as promoting media freedom and professionalism.
The launch included presentations on the findings of the Media & Information Habits, Consumption and Perception in Zimbabwe audience surveys carried out by Munthengo Development Solutions (MDS) and Internews. The findings gave an insight into the how people’s behaviour and mediums are changing in accessing news and information.
Thabani Moyo, the Director of MISA Zimbabwe and the MAZ Chairman was satisfied with the launch and noted how the government’s role is crucial in initiating media reform and how the stakeholders are a key constituency in providing checks and balances.
As part of the esteemed delegates at the event, was the Swedish Ambassador, Her Excellency, Ms. Åsa Pehrson who was very happy with the launch and observed how the ZimMedia21 programme fits in perfectly with the Swedish government’s drive for democracy.
The Head of International Development Programmes for Fojo, Katarina Zwinkels, said she hopes that the programme gives a voice to ordinary women and that youth in communities start in engaging in important issues such as corruption and governance in their communities.
The launch succeeded in bringing awareness and garnering support for the programme with over 60 relevant stakeholders, who included civil society organisations, media practioners and operators, the Swedish embassy and the government, attending the event.