DW's youth educational program, Learning by Ear, can now reach even more listeners across Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to the IVR technology, this service can be accessed by all customers of several DW mobile partners.
An important source of edutainment for young people in Sub-Saharan Africa, DW's Learning by Ear radio series is being made more accessible in the region. Utilizing interactive voice response (IVR) technology, it can now be listened to via mobile phones with no need to download the content. The new service allows the user to call a local number and hear specific episodes of the show on demand.
While its rate of Internet usage is still low, Africa has emerged as one the fastest-growing mobile phone markets in the world in the last decade. DW’s new service caters to this media consumption trend, and in addition allows access via landline connections.
"The main goal behind the project is to make Learning by Ear accessible for people with any type of cellular phone, regardless of its age, model, operating system or carrier. No Internet connection is necessary," said Naser Shrouf, DW’s head of distribution for Africa and the Middle East.
Some of the partner networks already involved in providing the service include MTN Ghana, Vodacom Tanzania, Airtel Niger and Airtel Nigeria. It will also soon be launched in Rwanda and Liberia.
Together with Learning by Ear series, parts of the English program for Africa, including current affairs show Africa Link, are also offered by some mobile providers like MTN Ghana und Airtel Nigeria via the IVR technology
Innovative format for edutainment
Since 2008, Deutsche Welle has been providing its African audiences with the educational program Learning by Ear. Available in English, French, Portuguese, Amharic, Hausa and Kiswahili, it is currently broadcast by over 270 radio stations throughout Africa and its content is also available online. The new dial-up service means that an even greater number of listeners can be reached.
The show focuses on the challenges that young Africans face. With its lively mix of in-depth reports, feature stories and radio plays, it addresses topics relating to politics, the economy, the environment, health and social issues, as well as providing facts that enhance general knowledge. Listeners are encouraged to become politically active and to contribute to shaping their social environment.
The reports and plays featured in the series are written and produced in Africa with the support of Deutsche Welle's production team in Germany. The show has been very positively received, with regular feedback from listeners indicating great interest in the content.
Deutsche Welle delivers a multilingual radio program to Sub-Saharan Africa, providing up-to-date information on and in-depth analysis of local and international topics. Over 30 million listeners in the region tune into DW on a regular basis.