#WorldRadioDay: spotlighting an underrated player in creating more informed citizens

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This blog was published on February 23, 2023

More than 700 million people across the world don’t have access to energy. These people not only cannot light their homes to work, prepare meals or have their children do their homework after dark. They are also excluded from other services that are powered by electricity like refrigeration to preserve their food or media to provide them with news, public information or entertainment.

Image: Zola

There are many types of solar home systems available in off-grid communities. The most affordable include multiple lights and the possibility to charge phones. Others include radios or TVs. TVs are a very sought-after appliance that contributes to informing citizens and shaping public opinion. Radios also fulfil that function, with the added advantage of being portable, so farmers working in the field, for example, can take them with them. This way, they can stay up-to-date on current affairs and be alerted of developments that might affect them, like extreme weather, changes in crop prices or the arrival of pests or diseases.

Image: Azuri

More than 140.000 radios were sold in the first half of 2022 by GOGLA affiliatesSunKingZola ElectricBboxx,  Baobab+Qotto and d.light are some of the companies offering them as part of their kits. RDG, an off-grid solar company working in Zambia that includes radios in one of their solar home systems, witnessed the impact of radio when the country held their general election in 2021, which led to the formation of a new government:  “Radio (and TV) inform people about current issues. They understand them better and can make informed decisions to vote based on this information, playing their part in a democratic society. We have just had a peaceful transition of power in Zambia, and radio has played a fundamental part.

Image: Sun King

Radio is often overlooked but is the unsung hero of public information, and through music, shows and interviews, it provides entertainment to billions of people. On World Radio Day, we want to shout out to all the off-grid companies helping families, business owners and off-grid communities become better informed and enjoy diverse expressions of culture.

GOGLA is committed to creating the right conditions to Power 1 Billion Lives by 2030 through our Energy Compact. Join us here!

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