WSF's award-winning audio service, the Africa Learning Channel, was launched in December 1999 as a forum for Africans to share ideas, experiences, and solutions to common problems. It is a collective channel of 'first voice' programs developed from educational and social development content produced by African community groups and media organizations for an African audience. It is a powerful voice for populations whose ideas and concerns have previously been unheard.
To date, the ALC reaches an audience of approximately 55.5 million people in 51 African countries with vital and relevant programs on topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention, conflict resolution, child survival and youth development, women's rights, microenterprise development, general health and nutrition, food security, and environmental conservation.
WSF works with over 250 partners - including 176 community broadcasters - in Africa to ensure that its programs reach the widest possible audience, and pays particular attention to rural and geographically isolated communities. Digital satellite receivers that are required to hear ALC programs are strategically placed in central community locations where the majority of community members can access them. We promote a policy of 'one receiver reaching many ears,' which encourages our community-based partners to organize coordinated listening sessions during which their constituencies listen to ALC programs. The sessions are followed by moderated discussions of the information by community members, who also provide feedback about the programming to our partners.
WSF also allows community broadcasters to download programs from the ALC for rebroadcast on AM/FM radio. This gives the stations access to a variety of educational and social development information that enhances their regular program schedules, and ensures that WSF programs reach a wider audience. Many community broadcasters translate the programs into local languages - for example, Arabic, Lingala, Wolof, Swahili, and Kawkwa - before broadcasting them.
As our network of partners grows and the number of people listening to the Africa Learning Channel increases, the social development and education programs on the ALC will continue to empower communities, and strengthen their capacity to engage actively and knowledgeably in their own development.
@WorldSpace Foundation 1999 - 2002