Interest in DW's Kiswahili programming is growing in East Africa, with 37 percent of the target audience and 36 percent of the total population in Tanzania tuning in weekly.
The figures are the result of a quantitative study jointly conducted in Tanzania by Deutsche Welle, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (US) and the polling institute Gallup in 2012. DW radio programming is received primarily via FM broadcasts by local partner stations in the East African country with 48 million residents.
"This is an extremely positive result and a fantastic reach for our programming" said Andrea Schmidt, head of DW's Kiswahili department. "The response particularly from our young listeners in East Africa offers a great incentive to continue developing our programming in Kiswahili as a key source of independent information."
According to the study, the educational series "Learning by Ear" has had remarkable success. The radio program reaches 16 percent of its target audience and 14 percent of the total population every week in Tanzania. Listeners tune in through various channels to this show, which has a relevant and up-to-date format and encourages discussion among young people.
The 24/7 English-language TV channel DW has also been very much in demand. 11 percent of the total population in Tanzania watches DW every week. Most viewers receive the programs by way of partner broadcasters.
Just as in the quantitative study, a qualitative market study conducted by Deutsche Welle and Ipsos Social Research Institute in Tanzania and Kenya showed a positive reception of DW's Kiswahili programming. The study's respondents described the offerings, which cover a broad spectrum of topics with a special focus on young people, as relevant, balanced and credible. Furthermore, people reported that compared with local media, Deutsche Welle offers a different perspective on world affairs, contributing to civic and social discourse.
Supported by a network of correspondents, a professional team of journalists from five African countries works at DW's headquarters in Bonn to provide three hours of Kiswahili radio content per day. The programming offers a huge variety of reports and features, also available on the Kiswahili homepage, on topics such as health, human rights, gender issues, the environment, youth, lifestyle and culture. The editorial team is actively in touch with its audience in the region on social media and via text message. DW’s Kiswahili Facebook page currently averages 330 interactions per post.