Radio Ndeke Luka launched its programmes in March 2000. The station rapidly established itself as the leading media outlet in the CAR. Radio Ndeke Luka contributes to democratic debate and reconstruction of the country as part of its public service mission. It is a strong factor for cohesion and balance in the sometimes difficult dialogue between the authorities and the population. Despite changes of government and military instability in the country, Radio Ndeke Luka has managed to build relations with successive authorities in such a way as to guarantee its editorial independence and freedom to operate.
The people of the CAR trust Radio Ndeke Luka and hold it to be a reliable source of information. Radio Ndeke Luka has an estimated audience of more than 1 million, or more than a quarter of the population of CAR. Every day it allows people in the Central African Republic to know what is going on in their country, to inform and entertain themselves, and above all to get their voices heard. Central Africans are very attached to Radio Ndeke Luka. People come to the station spontaneously because they know it has a real impact and that it can bring concrete changes in their daily lives. Radio Ndeke Luka broadcasts in the national language Sango, and in French.
Radio Ndeke Luka is the only independent national media outlet that covers the whole country. Radio Ndeke Luka broadcasts on FM round the clock seven days a week to a radius of 100 km around the capital Bangui and a radius of 80 km around the cities of Bouar in the northwest and Bambari in the southeast. It is available throughout the rest of the country for two hours a day on shortwave.
Its news bulletins are also available via a “radio on demand” service on mobile phones. Between March 2009 and March 2010, some 580,000 people used this service to hear Radio Ndeke Luka news, with an average of 48,000 calls per month. Thanks to live streaming of programmes on the radio’s website, it also has a strong following in the Central African Diaspora. Some 20,000 people per month visit the site www.radiondekeluka.org.
The station is based on an original model. Fondation Ndeke Luka, an NGO recognized under CAR law, was set up to pilot the sustainability development of the radio station. It aims to make Radio Ndeke Luka a durable media outlet whose staff will gradually take over its management. Fondation Ndeke Luka has been operational since January 2010 and has three areas of activity:
Radio Ndeke Luka, independent radio station
The advertising agency, which aims in the longer term to cover most of the radio’s budget
The journalist training centre, whose aim is to strengthen the capacity of media in the CAR.