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SFCG Ads Encourage Voter Participation in the DRC

February 1, 2012
DRC elections

DRC votes in second free election

Do you know how to vote?

We consider it a basic political right in democratic societies, but when your country has denied it to you for generations, either through sham elections or simple autocratic rule, voting can be a daunting and even meaningless action.

SFCG set out to change that in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their November elections were the country’s second since the end of the civil war and the first to be completely organized by the Congolese themselves. Many Congolese do not have a clear understanding of how the electoral system works, with quick-to-spread rumors, hearsay, and a politically polarized media culture taking the place of reliable and objective information. For this reason, the SFCG set out to create independent, trustworthy television and radio ads to urge people to get registered and vote, as well as explaining some of its basic processes and changes in times and venues.

RFI’s (Radio France International) English language service recently reported on this role, focusing on SFCG’s election spots that were broadcast on local radio stations throughout the country. Since this was an independent and non-partisan service, SFCG was swamped with requests for the election spots by the eve of the elections. It had so many requests that SFCG couldn’t fulfill them all as resources and means of distribution are limited in the DRC.

RFI did point out that there is a long way to go towards developing an informed electorate – both voters and candidates – where quality and policies matter more than where the candidate comes from and with whom he/she is aligned. SFCG looks forward to growing this political awareness and aptitude, while contributing to the DRC’s media culture in the long-term.

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