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Radio Broadcast Licensing Guidelines

The IBA is mandated to develop a licencing framework which shall stipulate the procedure for obtaining a broadcasting licence. Below is the licencing procedure for broadcasting services in Zambia.

NB: Where necessary, the Board may exempt applicants for Community Radio and Television stations from the tendering process. Unsolicited applications may be considered on the need or case by case basis.

1. The IBA Board shall, in consultation with the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) where it determines that there is need for the provision of additional broadcasting services, publish a notice in the Gazette and in a daily newspaper of general circulation in Zambia inviting applications to provide the broadcasting services specified in the notice.
2. The Board shall put the frequencies assigned to the various broadcasting services up for public tender as soon as they became available and specify the dateline for receiving the applications.
3. The Board may conduct a public inquiry to determine priorities within the broadcasting industry.
4. Successful applicants shall submit an application for a broadcasting licence to the Board in a prescribed manner and form upon payment of the approved fee.
5. Application fee for Community or Commercial Broadcasting Stations shall be advised
6. The applicant shall have no less than five (5) Board Members who should not be related. The names and contact details of the Board of trustees in the case of Religious, or Community Radio, or Television Stations, or the Board of Directors in the case of Commercial Radio, or Television Stations shall be subjected to security clearance and determination of credit Worthiness. The processing fee will be advised.
7. Applicants for Community Radio Stations should be registered with the Registrar of Societies /Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA). Applicants for Commercial Stations should be body Corporate.
8. All applications for the provision of radio broadcasting services must be solicited for by the Authority. All applicants are to respond to the Authority’s public invitation to provide Radio Broadcasting Services.:

  • Business Plan
  • A certificate of registration i.e. PACRA or Registrar of Societies in the case of Community or Religoius Radio Broadcast service
  • A list of the applicant’s Board members with their respective curriculum vitae attached
  • A Certificate from the Civil Aviation allowing applicant to put up a Mast or memorandum of understanding in cases where space is rented
  • A letter confirming whether the applicant will be using their own buildings or renting buildings for the radio studios
  • A list of fixed assets
  • The Programming schedule for the station

9. The Licencing Committee shall hold its meetings quarterly (Four times in a year).
10. The Board shall issue a Construction Permit to a successful applicant. This Permit allows the applicant to start establishing the station and install the broadcasting equipment. The Construction permit is issued at the cost to be advised and is valid for 1 year 6 months, i.e. 18 months. The applicant is allowed two (2) extensions of 6 months each at a penalty fee to be advised per extension.
11. The IBA shall engage the Provincial/District Planning Authorities to help check on the progress of the structures under construction to ensure they meet the standards that the IBA will have set and communicated to the Planning Authorities. One IBA staff may sit in the Planning Authorities’ meetings.
12. The applicant shall be issued with a Certificate of Completion by the Planning Authority which shall be submitted to the IBA. 10. The Board shall issue a Test Transmission Licence and advise the applicant to apply to ZICTA for a frequency.

13. The Test Transmission shall be for a period of three (3) months. However, should the applicant manage to complete the Tests before this period, the applicant could invite the IBA to conduct the final inspection. The conditions for the Test Transmitting are as follows:
a. The applicant is allowed to test transmit for only eight (8) hours per day, i.e. four (4) hours in the morning and four (4) hours in the evening or afternoon depending on one’s segment of suitability.
b. The applicant is allowed to play music, announce the station identification and programs such as phone – in and or greetings.
c. The applicant is restrained from serious programming and advertising.
d. The applicant must ensure that the station premises are secure from break-ins.
e. The applicant shall take note of the reach , in case the signal is going beyond the stipulated distances against the assigned wattage

14. After the final inspection is conducted; the Board shall issue a station a Full Broadcast Licence. The Conditions of the Licence are as follows:
i. A Broadcasting Licensee may, at least six months before the expiry of the Broadcasting Licence, apply to the Board for the renewal.
ii. The licence is valid for a period of seven (7) years.
iii. Subscription fees to be advised shall be paid annually.
iv. Each repeater station is paid for at the fee to be advised per year.
v. The Licensee shall pay both the annual subscription fee and the licence renewal fee in the year the licence expires.

NB: The Authority reserves the right to adjust all applicable fees.

Some FAQ's

Who can I complain against?

You can complain against any radio or television station that has aired anything that, in your view, has breached the broadcasting ethical standards..

What kind of issues can I complain against?

You can base your complaints on a breach of the code of professional standards

What is the time frame within which I can make a complaint?

You can make a complaint within three months of the broadcast, failure to which the IBA cannot process your complaint. Radio and television stations are mandated by law to store information for up to three months.

Who should my complaint be addressed to?

You can address your complaint to:
The Director General
Independent Broadcasting Authority
Mass Media Complex
Alick Nkhata Road
P.O. Box 32475

  • +260 211 250 589




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