VOICES OF THE ARID LANDS Summary
Mobile reporters give a voice to Kenyan voters: The use of mobile phones in rural areas enables reporters to document ignored issues, recognize common concerns and point out practical solutions. Working in collaboration with the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), Media Focus on Africa promoted civic education and participation of marginalized communities during the electoral process . To achieve this they trained 10 “Community Information Volunteers” from ALIN and equipped them with Internet enabled mobile phones. The “Community Information Volunteers” from all over the country reported on the Kenyan political atmosphere. These mobile reporters provide a way for various people who are not often asked to express their opinions and provide discourse on issues that they think should be at the forefront during this election such as corruption, power of the vote, gender issues, youth leadership, accountability, ethnicity and the candidates’ views. New technologies like this give voters from the marginalized communities a voice in the political arena and a chance to be heard not only by politicians but also by their fellow Kenyans in urban areas.
Their findings were published (videos, photos and articles)on www.mediafocusondevelopment.com and also played shown on a TV talk show.