|A Critique of Development Communication in Swaziland 1985-1991|
|Written by Hlatshwayo, Vuyisile Sikelela|
A Critique of Development Communication in Swaziland 1985-1991
The extensive history of attempts to use the mass media, particularly the radio, to disseminate information, education and social behaviour change has given impetus to development communications in Swaziland. Development communications can be defined as “social change leading to improved quality of living conditions and standards.
Common development aims include the amelioration of illiteracy, poverty (which incorporates issues of population control), the provision of primary health care, overcoming malnutrition, the provision of employment and shelter for the people”
(Hedebro:1982). By and large, the twenty-one development communication programmes produced weekly by Swaziland National Development National Communication Programme Producers are specifically designed to provide some solutions to the problematic development areas touched on by distinguished scholars like Hedebro. These problems are usually directed to the rural population.
Swaziland uses the mass media, particularly the radio, as a vehicle for national development. Solutions to the myriad problems of Swaziland are often wrapped in the catch-all term, “development”. Development is seen as the process of social change geared towards improving the quality of life of the Swazi people, but more especially the vast section of the rural population. In pursuit of this goal the Swaziland government, under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development, launched the Development Communications Project in 1985.