By Nelson Manneh
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has engaged Community Radio Stations on regulatory issues with the view of taking the necessary approaches needed to enhance the sector’s growth.
The event which took place at PURA’s main conference hall on Friday January 23rd 2020, brought stakeholders from the community radio stations across the country to discuss the challenges they face in disseminating relevant information to their audiences.
Momodou Jallow, the Director General of PURA said the broadcasting sector particularly private radios, have grown significantly over the last few years.
“As the sector’s regulator responsible for licensing in broadcasting, PURA has a number of objectives ranging from community and teaching considerations,” he said. DG Jallow said the media serves as an important interface between agencies of Government like PURA and the public.
“Gambians are very much aware of the activities of the Authority it relies on and will continue to rely on and strengthen collaboration with the media, in the dissemination of important information to the public,” he said; that they are cognizant of the boundaries between traditional and online radio platforms which have been allowed to expand their presence and reach.
“Almost all radio stations currently have a digital presence to broadcast even outside the confines of the country,” he noted.
Alieu Ngum, the Chairperson of PURA’s Board of Directors said from the development of the regulatory frameworks to its most recent move in allowing for growth, the Authority has ensured that the country remains relevant among nations in adopting international best practices in the broadcast sphere.
“We cannot deny the fact that community radios have the potential to promote seamless communication within their various communities as they will be able to disseminate news and current affairs where the national broadcaster and other commercial radios do not reach or have limited coverage,” he said; that as they are responsible for licensing in broadcasting, the expansion and growth of the sector can be attributable to clear institutional directions focused on leadership and an empowered workforce.