Voices of the Arid Lands


Mobile reporters give a voice to Kenyan voters.

The use of mobile phones enables reporters to document ignored issues and raise marginalized voices. Working in collaboration with the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), Media Focus on Africa promoted civic education and participation during the electoral process of marginalized communities.

To achieve this they trained 10 “Community Information Volunteers” from ALIN and equipped them with Internet enabled mobile phones. The “Community Information Volunteers” from all over the country reported on the Kenyan political atmosphere. These mobile reporters provide a way for various people who are not often asked to express their opinions and provide discourse on issues that they think should be at the forefront during this election such as corruption, power of the vote, gender issues, youth leadership, accountability, ethnicity and the candidates’ views. New technologies like this give voters from the marginalized communities a voice in the political arena and a chance to be heard not only by politicians but also by their fellow Kenyans in urban areas. Their findings were published (videos, photos and articles) on www.mediafocusondevelopment.com. For more information please visit: http://mfoa.africanews.com/site/page/mobile_report

Project activities 

Mobile reporters online platform

In collaboration with our partner Africa Interactive we developed a special online platform to upload the videos to the mediafocusondevelopment website

Mobile reporting workshop

The community information volunteers from the Arid Land information Network particpated in 2 training workshops: A first workshop made equipped them with the skilss to use the mobile phone to make short videos. A second workshop familiarised them with the campaign topics and the voter education material that they were to use in the communities.

Giving marginalised communities a voice

For the project 'Voices of the Arid lands' videoclips were produced by the community information volunteers capturing the views of the people in the arid lands of Magadi Kajido, Isinya Kajiado, Homa Bay, Marigat, Nakuru, Garissa, Laikipia and Nyahururu, Mutomo, Kyuso, Isiolo on electoral topics in the running up to the 2007 Kenya Elections.


Mobile reporters give a voice to Kenyan voters

  • 99 video clips produced and uploaded
  • Online platform to upload the clips produced (screenshot) www.mediafocusondevelopment.org
  • DVD with clips and background information
  • 10 people trained in mobile reporting and voter education
  • 2455 people reached with the voter education programme (1015 male/1270 female)
  • Clips uploaded on Afrikanews website