The Phuhlisani audio podcast

So what's a podcast you may be wondering? Podcasts are digital audio files typically recorded in MP3 format which can be downloaded from the Internet. You can listen to these files on your computer or copy them to an MP3 player, an iPod or a cellular phone which is capable of playing audio files.

Once you have found a podcast that you like you can subscribe to it by using something called really simple syndication or RSS. This automatically sends new podcasts directly to your computer as soon as they become available.

Podcasts are like radio programmes that you can listen to at a time which suits you and if you find something interesting you can play it again whenever you feel like.

The Phuhlisani podcast contains news, interviews and commentary on land reform and rural development from South Africa and the SADC region. Podcast transcipts can be found on the Ikhuba blog

Phuhlisani is experimenting with the use of podcasting and Web 2.0 for rural development information and communication. As Andreas Mandler has observed.

Internet access has become a matter of course in many cities in developing countries. In rural areas, however, it is a different story. This is where illiteracy is still widespread and, on top of that, both technical competence and equipment are in short supply. Most rural people are still far from surfing the web.

Nevertheless, modern communication technology offers them opportunities. Gadgets are becoming increasingly user-friendly and easy to manage, and so are the relevant programmes. Moreover, mobile telephony is reaching more and more villages. Rural people are increasingly using mobile phones, which open up additional opportunities when linked with other communication technology. Digital exchange has become possible even in places without computers or fixed-line network.

South Africa as well as several other countries in the region have extensive cellphone coverage which if creatively used can become an important vehicle for development information.

Our first podcast provides a brief review of progress and challenges in land reform implementation in South Africa.

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