Radio Mogadishu Archive

Bio

After more than 60 years of analogue storage in an inadequate environment, the Radio Mogadishu audio archive is being digitized in order to save it from deterioration and introduce the unique Somali historical recordings to new audience.

It was established during the colonial period in Italian Somaliland. It is known for broadcasting news items in both Somali and Italian. Transmissions in Somali at the station first began in 1943, concurrent with the start of Somali language programming in Radio Djibouti. Radio Mogadishu was modernized with Russian assistance following independence in 1960, and began offering home service in Somali, Amharic and Oromo. After closing down operations due to the civil war that broke out in 1991, the station was officially re-opened in the early 2000s by the Transitional National Government of former President of Somalia, Abdiqasim Salad Hassan.

Prior to the Somali Army's ultimate pacification of the capital in August 2011, Radio Mogadishu operated from a walled compound guarded by armed soldiers. The station's staff routinely broadcasted news, talk shows and music despite threats of violence. Radio Mogadishu presently broadcasts from downtown Mogadishu. In the late 2000s, the station also launched a complementary website of the same name, with news items in Somali, Arabic and English.

On 7 November, the Minister of Information, Abdullahi Elmoge Hirsi, visited Radio Mogadishu in order to see the ongoing digitalization of the station's archive, which was kept largely intact for over two decades of civil war. It is now being converted into digital files in a newly allocated building that is being refurbished with donations from the French Embassy, ensuring the archives continued survival. This work is being carried out following the relative peace that now prevails in Mogadishu after the al Shabaab extremist group were forced out of the city and other urban towns by the Somali National Army (SNA) backed by forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Radio Mogadishu has a dark room which contains thousands of reels with folk songs, political speeches, drama, poetry and religious programs that were saved from various clan militias who took control of areas of the city after the ousting of then Somali president Siad Barre in 1991.

With support from the AU/UN Information Support Team, French Government and other International, the Federal Government of Somalia is now digitizing this valuable archive which will make the recordings available to a modern audience.

SOMogadishu, Somalia

Contact

Radio Mogadishu
Profile added by Ano Shumba on 30 Sep 2015