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Radio Kidocracy Konference
For Youth of South Africa and the World

Radio Kidocracy is the brainchild of Zane Ibrahim, Director of Cape Town's BUSH Radio, a community station which broadcasts to a wide swathe of the Cape Flats townships. BUSH Radio is a station that has led the world in encouraging children and youth to participate in radio production. Kids from 6 to 18 years old are trained to produce and broadcast their own shows on Saturday mornings (BushTots, BushKidz, BushTeens).

Their first Kidocracy Konference was held in 2000 when about 60 young people from youth organisations in Cape Town and the rest of the country met to debate the clauses of the Africa Charter on Children's Broadcasting, a document later ratified at a meeting of the Commonwealth Broadcasters Association held in South Africa the same year. The following year, a goal of their Radio Kidocracy event was to find out what children and youth want to hear on the radio and how radio can respond to their needs. This was how work began on the idea of a Children's & Youth Radio Manifesto. Youth radio groups from overseas were invited to give the debate some international perspectives, but plans were disrupted by the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Overseas participants had to cancel, and Radio Kidocracy became a smaller, two-day event that focused on drafting an outline Manifesto.

In 2002, the Radio Kidocracy Konference, organised by the station's Children's Radio Education Workshop (CREW), held discussion workshops to develop their ideas. With Charlotte McClain of the South Africa Commission on Human Rights as their keynote speaker, they worked to define how young people wish to use radio and what they really need from the medium.

The aim was to draft the Children's Radio Manifesto in preparation for the 4th World Summit on Media for Children in 2004. The Radio Kidocracy Konference gave 42 young people from diverse cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds a chance to meet, and share ideas and experiences. Their discussion groups were an invaluable part of the experience. In post apartheid South Africa, children from very diverse backgrounds are expected to negotiate race, class, culture, language, and economic issues. The participants developed closeness over the five days and shared very personal information with raw honesty.


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