Radio Okapi is a radio network that operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On an annual budget of USD$4.5 million, a staff of 200 provide news and information to the entire urban population of the DRC. Radio Okapi provides programming in French and in the four national languages of Congo: Lingala, Kituba, Swahili and Tshiluba,
Radio Okapi was created by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) and the Swiss NGO Fondation Hirondelle. The agreement between MONUC and the Congolese government foresaw the creation of a radio network to inform the Congolese population of the MONUC's efforts. MONUC and the Fondation Hirondelle submitted a plan in 2001 to the United Nations, and the radio network went live on 25 February 2002. The station takes its name from the endangered Okapi, the majestic yet shy and elusive mammal native to the Ituri rainforest in the Congo.
Mary Myers, in the essay "Well-Informed Journalists Make Well-Informed Citizens: Coverage of Governance Issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo," said that the radio station "raised the bar for other indigenous radio and TV stations in the country." Other area radio stations copied Radio Okapi's news gathering techniques, program concepts, and formats. Myers also said "Although Radio Okapi can be a thorn in the government's side at times, its stance of promoting peace and democracy and the strong role it plays in civic education have led to its recognition, even by the Minister of Information, as a national asset that the Democratic Republic of Congo [sic] could ill afford to lose."
Serge Maheshe a journalist for Radio Okapi was shot on June 13, 2007. Maheshe was the editor in chief in Bukavu for the station.
Radio Okapi provides programming in French and in Lingala, Kituba, Swahili and Tshiluba, transmitting all day every day on:
- Kinshasa 103.5 MHz
- Aru 88.0 MHz
- Bandundu 99.0 MHz
- Baraka 103.4 MHz
- Béni 92.0 MHz
- Bukavu 95.3 MHz
- Bunia 104.9 MHz
- Bunyakiri 103.2 MHz
- Butembo 92.9 MHz
- Dungu 103.4 MHz
- Gbadolite 93.0 MHz
- Gemena 95.4 MHz
- Goma 105.2 MHz
- Isiro 90.1 MHz
- Kalemie 105.0 MHz
- Kamina 104.3 MHz
- Kananga 93.0 MHz
- Kanyabayonga 96.0 MHz
- Kikwit 103.5 MHz
- Kindu 103.0 MHz
- Kisangani 94.8 MHz
- Lisala 104.3 MHz
- Lubumbashi 95.8 MHz
- Mahagi 96.0 MHz
- Manono 104.5 MHz
- Masisi 96.0 MHz
- Matadi 102.0 MHz
- Mbandaka 103.0 MHz
- Mbuji-Mayi 103.5 MHz
- Moba 102.4 MHz
- Rutshuru 95.3 MHz
- Tshomo Uni 106.5 MHz
- Uvira 105.3 MHz
- Walikale 104.9 MHz
- "Fondation Hirondelle, Media for Peace and Human Dignity". Fondation Hirondelle. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
- Radios en République démocratique du Congo (in French)
- "Radio Okapi - Qui sommes nous?" (in French). Radio Okapi. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
- "Congo’s election: That sinking feeling: A general election in the Democratic Republic of Congo may end in tears", The Economist, dated 26 Nov 2011. Retrieved on 15 February 2012.
- Myers, Mary. "Well-Informed Journalists Make Well-Informed Citizens: Coverage of Governance Issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo." Printed in: Odugbemi, Sina and Taeku Lee (editors). Accountability Through Public Opinion: From Inertia to Public Action. World Bank Publications, 2011. 155. Retrieved from Google Books on 15 February 2012. 0821385569, 9780821385562.
- "Serge Maheshe - Journalists Killed - Committee to Protect Journalists".
- "Radio Okapi: The project". Fondation Hirondelle. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
- Catherine Bédarida, «Une radio pour la paix», article and interview with Pierre Guyot Le Monde supplement TV&Radio 7–8 January 2007, page 5. Guyot recalls the birth of Radio Okapi survient eight years before the Rwanda genocide, in the course of which Radio des Mille Collines had encouraged the massacres.
- Radio Okapi, radio de la vie was selected at:
- Festival international du grand reportage d'actualité et du documentaire de société (FIGRA) March 2006;
- Festival Ciné droits libres de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, November 2006;
- Documentary Month Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, France, November 2006;
- Assises internationales du journalisme Lille, March 2007;
- Festival international du film des droits de l'Homme Paris, March 2007,
- Colloque annuel de la Société Québécoise de Sciences Politiques Archived 13 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Université Laval, May 2007,
- Le Festival du Film des Droits de l'Homme, Bangui, Central African Republic, May 2007.
Media related to Radio Okapi at Wikimedia Commons