SOMA Observes World Radio Day and the 8th anniversary of its foundation

MOGADISHU, Somalia 13 February 2021 : The Somali Media Association (SOMA) is celebrating the International World Radio Day and the 8th anniversary of the establishment of the association.

The main UNESCO theme of the World Radio Day 2021 is ‘New World, New Radio.’ This was decided to keep in mind the services the radio provided during COVID-19.

The key purpose of commemorating the World Radio Day marked all over the world on February 13 annually is to raise awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio, which is the most effective way of delivering information.

The event is also intended to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the radio made it possible to ensure continuity of public awareness and learning, to fight against misinformation, and to promote barrier gestures.

The world radio event was proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day; February 13 became World Radio Day.

In respect with the World Radio Day 2021, the Somali media houses and journalists are committed to use the radio as means of communication to inform knowledge in areas such as education, agriculture, culture , science, health, good governance, peace, technology and empower the listeners.

The SOMA Association with more than 30 media houses members are operational across Somalia including Mogadishu, Baidoa, Beletweyne, Adado, Abudwaq, Dhuusamareeb, Guri’el, Galkacyo, Jowhar, Kismayo and Garowe

The event is coinciding when the Somali Media Association (SOMA) has been established by a group of media managers in Somalia as Network 2013 in Kampala on 13 February 2013 by 13 radio stations across Somalia by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and development of a Constitution. However, during its General Assembly held in May 2016, the name of Network 2013 has been changed to the Somali Media Association (SOMA).

On the occasion of marking these two events, SOMA would like to present some of its achievements in the past eight years which includes conducting its General Assembly Meeting set out for every three years to discusses the achievements, the challenges, approves key decisions and makes plan of action for future development. The association has also Executive Committee member that meets annually to manage and implement main activities.

The key programs the SOMA has successfully implemented were response to Covid-19 pandemic through content production, produced guidelines to ensure journalists safety and protection during the Covid-19. SOMA has also conducted advocacy campaigns for protecting the independent media houses and journalist operating in Somalia, expressing concern over the press violations and urging the authorities to release the detained journalist and protect the rights of the journalists and the media houses.

The association has also implemented capacity-building programs focusing on safety and election coverage for all journalists working at the media member radio stations across the Federal Member States in Somalia.

The Somali Media Association (SOMA) would like to take this opportunity to express special appreciation to IMS/FOJO, UNDP and other donors for their valuable support in promoting the capacity and safety of the Somali journalists and media houses and undertaking the advocacy and lobbying campaigns programs.

On the World Radio Day event, the Somali Media Association (SOMA) is sending its best compliments and congratulation to all the stakeholders that support efforts of continuing the radio alive and active with innovative content to be shared and transmitted.

Its well know fact that Radio has the ability to reach out to the widest audience, in the process having the ability to shape a society’s experience of diversity and providing a platform for everyone to be represented and heard.

Presently more than 30 operational media outlets consisting of radio and TV stations based in Puntland, Galmudug , Hirshabelle, Banadir, Jubaland and South West of Somalia are united under the SOMA association.