How to Apply for a Community Radio Licence in Egypt

5 min

A beautiful profile of the Great Sphinx including the pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre in the background in Giza, Cairo, Egypt

Radio broadcasting in Egypt began in the 20th century, in 1924 as privately owned and operated community stations. Later, in 1934 private ownership and operation were abolished and radio broadcasting was nationalized ever since. By the early 1990s, Egypt had only 4 FM stations in Greater Cairo 


The procedure for obtaining a Community Radio broadcast Licence as stipulated by the National Broadcasting Union Act as follows:

1.A prospective applicant must be in a group and not individuals registered with Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU). Applying to operate a community Radio in the country. Its constitution must include the objective of operating a community radio station Broadcasting.

Note: The ERTU is owned and operated by the government. Although all the radio stations are owned by the government, the three private stations were launched with unclear criteria or agreements. An independent body does not issue licences. Rather, these are granted based on specific criteria known to the public

2.The applying groups will write to the Union seeking approval to purchase a set of application forms, indicating the kind of service and location(s) intended.

3. Upon receiving approval, the Group or Association may then purchase a set of application forms including a copy of the Egyptian Broadcasting Code and other publications that would provide an insight into broadcasting in Egypt, at the cost of five thousand Egyptian pound only (EGP5,000) from any of the Union’s offices across the Egypt.

4.The set of forms purchased should then be completed and returned to the office of the Director General with the following:A. Certificate of IncorporationB. Certified copy of the Companys Memorandum and Articles of AssociationC. An Engineering design of systems including feasibility studyD. A letter of undertaking in accordance with Union specification.E. A letter of reference from the Companys Bankers.

5.The application is processed by the ERTU, recommended through the Honourable Minister of Information, to the Prime Minister and Commander-in-chief of the Arab Republic of Egypt for further consideration.

6. Upon approval, the successful applicant is expected to pay the prescribed license fee and sign a license agreement before being assigned an appropriate frequency.

7. Currently, a licence life span is five (4) years renewable. A licence however lapses and stands revoked if not utilised within two (2) years of issuance

8. WARNING: It is illegal for any person to operate or use any apparatus or premises for the transmission of sound or vision by cable, television, radio, satellite or any other medium of broadcast from anywhere in Egypt, without a license. Note further that obtaining or submitting a license application does not confer on the applicant the right to acquire, operate or use such transmission equipment without the permission of the Egyptian Radio and television Union. Contravening this warning shall lead to the forfeiture of such equipment to the Arab Government of Egypt; and the Commission will not hesitate to confiscate them.

9. The Union, however, assures the public of its preparedness to facilitate applications through laid down procedure.Ads by Google

Required Documents

  • Certificate of Incorporation and location of the station.
  • Current Tax Clearance Certificate , a letter indicating tax waiver should be obtained and attached to the submission for the Community Radio.
  • Certified true copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association.
  • 3 passport photographs of authorized representative of the community/ Association.
  • Feasibility report of proposed service applied for renewal.
  • Completed application should be submitted in triplicate with all necessary documents attached and bound.
  • On submission, a non refundable administrative charge which is 2% of the relevant license fee would be paid.
  • A copy of Association Constitution.
  • All payments are in bank draft

Office Locations & Contacts

Egypt Radio and Television Union (ERTU),

Building Korniche El Nil St.

Maspero, Cairo, Egypt

Tel: +20 2 574 6881.


Website: by Google


Radios owned and operated by a local community, and not individuals, are eligible to apply for licence to operate community radio in the country, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) works with the Ministry of Information to manage and operate all eight government-owned TV stations and radio stations in Egypt and has the mandate to issue this License.


The application fees are EGP 5,000


The License is Valid for 4 years.

Processing Time

The process takes 6 months


No person shall operate or use any apparatus or premises for the transmission of sound or vision by cable, television, radio, satellite or any other medium of broadcast from anywhere in Egypt except under and in accordance with the provisions of the national Broadcasting Union act.

Required Information

The key information required is as follows

1. Name of Applicant (or Authorized Group or Community)

2. Organization / Company/Association

3. Completed ERTU application form.

4. Certificate of Incorporation with the National Broadcasting Union, if a company.

5. Certified true copy of memorandum & Articles of Association.

6. Tax Clearance Certificate

7. information on Equipment standards and specifications.

8. Information on a random sample of the equipment that was done and a technical and conformity tests that was conducted by NBU.Ads by Google

Need for the Document

Radio broadcasting is controlled and operated by the government, through the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU). Radio is the second-most popular mass medium; it has the highest percentage of listeners after television.

UNESCO and AMARC define community radio simply as radio owned and operated by a local community, usually with the support of volunteers and local contributions. Typically, community radio stations are owned by NGOs and are limited in their broadcast coverage to a particular community, language or special audience.It is its community that forms its audience.

Egyptians own over 20 million radios and nearly 8 million televisions. There are 98 television stations and 42 AM and 14 FM radio stations. But while the rest of the world, including many semi-closed regimes, has been tolerant of private and community radio, the Arab world, including Egypt plus some relatively open societies, has persistently rejected any regulation that would grant radio licenses to anyone other than government organizations or the elite business entities that circulate within their orbit.

The programming broadcast by these community stations is also entirely controlled by central governments of Egypt.

Community radio, of course, is not just about issues of identity and ethnicity. Local communities that can control the means to express themselves, communicate within their own populations, and develop mechanisms for speaking to local and regional powers via radio, are instantly empowered in ways not easily tolerated by authoritarian power.

Radio services could be National, regional or local depending on the approved area of coverage. The Union licenses several types of broadcasting services:

1.Voice of the Arab network (Sout AlArab),

2.The Cultural Radio network (AlShabaka Al Thaqafaieh),

3.The Commercial Radio network,

4.The Quran network Radio,

5.The Local Radio network (Al Mahaliat),

6.The Overseas network (Al Mowaghat),

7.The Nile Valley (Wady Al Nile) radio services,

8.The Middle East radio service,

9.The Middle Delta radio service,

10.The Upper Egypt radio service,

11.The North Sinai radio service.

12.The South Sinai radio service,

13.The Canal radio service,

14.The New Valley and the Educational radio services

The Local Radio network includes 10 radio services. These services aim to cover the Egyptian local areas. . The North and the South Sinai radio services were established mainly to attract Egyptian citizens to inhabit these areas and to entertain tourists in the areas.Note

All the local radio stations have always been publicly owned, however, state-controlled which make them in practice, stated owned, with the exception of the apolitical private radio station at El Gouna resort, named El Gouna Radio (“Lagoon Radio”). All broadcast media are somehow state controlled, even if partly or fully private.

Information which might help

Community radio exists basically to serve an underserved or marginalized community. A specific, identifiable community sharing common characters and/or interests. It could be a geographical community whose size can range from a rural area, to a small town, or a small section of a city. It could also be a community of interest such as women, youths, or linguistic and cultural minorities.

  • In considering an application for a Community Radio broadcast licence under the ERT Act, the Commission must certify that the applicant:
  • Is a Community or Association or Group of Members or body corporate registered under the Companies and Allied matters Act or a station owned, established or operated by the Local Government Can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that he is not applying on behalf of any foreign interest.

And Can comply with the objectives of the

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