Indigenous communication as an enabling factor for rural development in Nigeria
Most development programmes end up as mere growth and not sustainable development. As a result, it becomes essential to examine indigenous communication systems that are supposed to aid development efforts. This is because development is multifaceted, multi-sectorial and widely a participatory process in which the intended beneficiaries are actively involved in every phase. It is also pertinent to assess the effect of exogenous media on the indigenous media with regards to rural development efforts. To achieve these, an in-depth anthropological fieldwork was conducted to examine rural development efforts with regards to their utilization of indigenous media in Mbano, South-east Nigeria. The study also adopted modernization and social change theories as well as impact assessment model. Sampling was by multi-stage and purposive
sampling methods. Research methods used were both qualitative and quantitative. It was found that a lot of factors have prevented full achievement of development in rural areas of Nigeria. It has also
been discovered that the best form of development is participatory
development in which the actual beneficiaries actively participate
from the inception of the programme up to the evaluation stage. As
a result, indigenous communication is relevant to socio-economic
development of the rural communities. So, participatory development is the ideal and it must involve a good knowledge of the people’s culture, which has indigenous communication at its centre. The study therefore, recommends the full utilization of indigenous media in sensitizing and mobilizing the rural people for participation in development programmes.
Keywords: Indigenous Communication, Rural Community, Development.
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