Brussels, 24 February 2002
'Good Morning Afghanistan', a daily breakfast radio show funded by the European Commission begins broadcasting from Kabul on Monday 25 February. The programme can be received by up to 80% of the Afghan population. It will focus on factual information, but will also provide for entertainment and education.
Following the European Commission's decision on 13 December 2001 on a quick-impact support package a contract with the NGO Baltic Media Centre (BMC) was signed a week later, after which preparations started immediately in Kabul. BMC established a partnership with Radio Afghanistan and has been allocated two hours of daily broadcasting (6:30-8:30 am) for the programme 'Good Morning Afghanistan' out of the daily six hours available. The programme will start broadcasting from February 25 in Pashtu and Dari and can be received by up to 80% of the Afghan population. It is intended to contribute to confidence building between various ethnic groups by using a couple of minutes overlap where Pashtu and Dari broadcasters discuss news items in two languages.
On February 19, equipment necessary for the production and transmission of the programme arrived. Thanks to generous contributions of second-hand equipment by Denmark's Radio, Radio Borders Scotland, Radio Forth, Radio Bornholm, TV 2 Bornholm and BMC it was possible to fully equip the old Kabul Radio building. An Afghan team of around twenty young journalists who are representative of the population has been selected, which has been working very hard to install the equipment in order to start broadcasting on February 25.
The Afghan Minister of Information and Culture has on various occasions remarked that the importance of this project is not only to provide the Afghan population with objective information and the Afghan government a national voice but also to 'bring back some happiness in the lives of young Afghans'.
The programme is supported by the European Commission with some 235.000 €, which form part of the 13 December 2001 package of quick-impact projects, funded with 4.9 m € by the EC Rapid Reaction Mechanism(1).
Further details are available from:
The Baltic Media Centre
Bent N. Bonde, Managing Director or Waseem
Mahmood, Project Manager
(Tel. In Kabul: +88-216-54200579)
Simon Drewsen, Deputy Managing Director (Tel.: +45-20-208459)
(1) European Commission press release IP/01/1834 on EU support for Afghanistan