Radio Ndeke Luka is the most popular media listened to the Central Africa Republic. Created in 2000 by Fondation Hirondelle, it broadcasts live 24h/24 and 7 days/7 in French and in Sango all over the country with 5 FM transmitters, broadcasted by 6 partner radios, and broadcasted through short wave. For 17 years, Radio Ndeke Luka has been a veritable public service. It contributes to resolving everyday problems and is sometimes vital to the population, in a country confronted by repetitive crises and governance issues.
Radio Ndeke Luka broadcasted its first program on March 27, 2000. It was developed and created by Fondation Hirondelle, to succeed Radio Minurca, the United Nations radio in CAR, which had just stopped broadcasting. In 2009, the property of Radio Ndeke Luka was transferred to the Ndeke Luka Foundation, an organization of Central African law, and was approved as a Central African radio by the High Council of Communication.
Radio Ndeke Luka produces and broadcasts 13 programs on daily life, debates, entertainment, music, and magazines. This content is produced by fifty Central African employees in Bangui and in the provinces. It is broadcast via 5 FM transmitters across the country, and 6 community radio stations rebroadcast an hour of Radio Ndeke Luka’s program every day on their antenna. Finally, the whole Central African territory is covered by two hours of daily short-wave broadcasts, through broadcasting via Canal Sat Africa, and live web streaming.
- Contribute to dialogue between Central Africans by producing and broadcasting independent programs and factual, impartial and professional information nationally, in French and in Sango.
- Allow every listener to understand the challenges of reconstructing the country during the democratization process and in the post-conflict context, through programs on the role of renewed democratic institutions and political representatives.
- Foster professionalism at Radio Ndeke Luka and the Central African media sector by improving the capacity of the RNL teams, the development of Fondation Ndeke Luka and its advertising agency, and the editorial and technical development of CAR’s community radios.
Testimony received by IMMAR during a focus group in 2010
- Radio Ndeke Luka and women: « Radio Ndeke Luka helped me a lot in my job as a nurse. I have changed the way I treat my patients. Even within my family, my relationships with my neighbors have improved as well. Right now there is a good coexistence. »
- Radio Ndeke Luka and youth: « Radio Ndeke Luka gave me a new vision in life. The youth program and « There is no stupid job » really helped me. »
Sylvie Panika, Director of Radio Ndeke Luka, in an interview for « Quoi de neuf », Fondation Hirondelle’s newsletter in March 2017.
- Information that saves lives: « « Two examples come to me: on April 2015 an accidental fire was ignited within an IDP camp in Bambari (center-east of Central African Republic) by a child who had started a fire to prepare the family meal. The fire rapidly spread through the houses made of straw of this camp of roughly 600 people, resulting in close to 180 wounded and significant material damage. However the outcome would have been worse if the habitants had not immediately informed RNL, where a radio bulletin permitted a timely intervention from the government and from MINUSCA (the UN mission in CAR) to stop the fire, heal the wounded and offer tarps and food to the affected population. One year later, a cholera epidemic was declared in a village in the region of Ndjoukou close to the Congolese boarder, 100 km north-east of Bangui. We did not have a correspondent in the area. It was a priest that informed us about people dying in similar ways. Nineteen cases where brought up, and a dozen where almost fatal. Again in this situation, the broadcasting of this news by RNL permitted the information to circulate live, which then brought about an effective intervention from the World Health Organization and the government that took serious measures to put an end to the epidemic. »