MEET: Markku Liukkonen

Application broadcast:

EU development assistance

There is an old saying in East Africa: If you are crossing the river and you know there is a crocodile, don't mention it, because it's not there until someone mentions it. This saying explains many problems in Africa. Western countries are trying to help, but it seems the real problem remains unrecognised and unsolved. The biggest reason for poverty and underdevelopment is ignorance. Information and knowledge don't reach people because there isn’t money for school, governmental news doesn't tell all, etc. Development assistance should concentrate especially on the availability of free information. Even though new technology is providing new digital applications, one must not forget the power of grass roots community media. The north-south-south project not only provides a platform for universitites from Finland and third world countries to co-operate, but also supports the use of Finnish community know-how in developing countries. Community media, like radio, newspapers and blogs, provide an easy approach to information. Different community media projects can reduce ignorance and give people the courage to speak about things with real words. Maybe then someone can mention the crocodile in the river...