The iMedia-assisted projects implemented by Media Support Partnership Afghanistan (MSPA) have come to the end of their first phase. Funding applications have been submitted to continue with the Mahaal radio feature news agency, Talking Books and the Straight Talk Youth programme.
The Helmand Radio drama has been a particular success, with the local scriptwriters working remotely in Helmand province receiving visits from Editor Rahmatullah Basharat, along with telephone support.
Much time and energy has been devoted to Mobile Mahaal – a system whereby news can be accessed through Afghanistan’s mobile phone network. It has proven to be a much harder task than anticipated, involving government agencies, mobile phone operators and cutting edge technology to keep the cost of the service low. However, once the technicalities are cracked, a system will be in place that can be replicated to provide much enhanced interactive communication for the 10 million plus mobile phone subscribers in Afghanistan.