Annual Report 2023
A journalist reporting from Kasai, a province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, for Studio Hirondelle RDC. © Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / Fondation Hirondelle.

Democratic Republic of Congo – Studio Hirondelle DRC

Studio Hirondelle DRC is a Fondation Hirondelle project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, working since 2014. Via professional, committed media, it aims to help consolidate democracy in the country through better involvement of Congolese citizens, particularly women and young people.

Its programmes place people at the centre, providing them with reliable, independent information, and getting their voices better heard through strengthened local media. From September 2023, its work focused primarily on the various electoral events that took place in December.

Key Figures 2023

22 hours of broadcasting
124 radios and 23 TV partners
28 000 social network users
48 media professionals trained

Financial Volume

570,303 CHF

Sources of Funding

• European Union
• Switzerland (SDC Programme contribution)
• Income generated


The year in the DRC was marked by presidential and legislative elections. Fighting with the M23 armed group intensified in the east of the country, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to move and exacerbating community tensions. Against this backdrop, the Congolese media, already weakened by a lack of resources, were particularly exposed to the risk of manipulation, especially given the growing challenges of misinformation on social networks.

Between October and December 2023, Studio Hirondelle DRC produced 10 features, two studio debates and two public debates in five languages (French, Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba, Swahili). These programmes addressed the main electoral issues at national and local level, including public policy analysis and the civic and political engagement of young people.

Even though I’m not old enough to vote, I’ve managed to understand the rationale behind elections and how they work. I’m way ahead of the students at my school..
Eric Amboka, schoolboy listener to Radio Mwana in Mbandaka

Studio Hirondelle DRC broadcast its programmes via its network of 124 community radio stations and 23 television partners, present throughout the country. In 2023, the studio developed new digital formats for broadcast on social networks, notably Facebook and YouTube, but also aimed at a younger audience on TikTok and Instagram.

In Kinshasa, Kananga, Goma and Mbandaka, media partners have benefited from editorial and technical training, as well as courses focusing on the challenges of managing a community radio station. Studio Hirondelle DRC’s editorial team received support to refine its digital strategy. The team took part in a workshop on journalism for solutions applied to the environment and climate change.

In 2024, Studio Hirondelle RDC will partner with Debunk, an independent organization specializing in the analysis of dis/misinformation, to help the Congolese media deal with online hate speech. Media education programmes will be produced to develop citizens’ skills in the critical use of different sources of information. Training for trainers will be organized, with a view to setting up a team of Congolese trainers.

© Justin Makangara / Fondation Hirondelle