MACRA completes Re-farming exercise for frequency scarcity

MACRA - Daud Suleman

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has completed a re-farming exercise which was instituted for 12 months to provide solutions to the scarcity of frequencies Broadcasters have been experiencing over the years.

To mark this achievement, MACRA invited Broadcasters from community and national radio stations to a one-day meeting held at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe where successful candidates for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Content Development Sponsorship were unveiled.

Speaking at the function, MACRA’s Director General Daud Suleman said radio remains every important communication reaching out to all the people saying the new frequency allocation table has separated broadcasters into three major categories.

Suleman said community broadcasters will be restricted to a geographical area broadcasting within a certain radius, and regional broadcasters will be broadcasting within one region and will not be allowed to go into another region.

He said for national broadcasters, MACRA has set a minimum number of transmitters saying one broadcaster cannot have three transmitters calling itself a national broadcaster saying one broadcaster will have its own allocated frequency.

“We have set a minimum number of transmitters to each broadcaster so that there is space for new broadcasters to come in for the frequencies,” said Suleman.

He congratulated the task force for a job well done and members of staff of MACRA for supporting the task force during the 12 months to come up with the new frequency allocation.

In his remarks, Minister of Information and Digitalization Moses Kunkuyu said the Government recognize broadcasters as playing a communication role in the development of the country through educating, informing and entertaining citizens.

“As Government, we will ensure that the media industry is supported and provide a conducive environment for the broadcasting industry in Malawi,” he said.

And MACRA’s Board member Stella Tchuthi assured broadcasters that the quality which has been a challenge will be rectified saying 70 more spaces have been created for new broadcasters advising broadcasters that each one will have one station, not two stations.