David has worked extensively with the UN on media projects in conflict and post conflict zones from the Balkans to the Central African Republic, including the conception and implementation of the hugely successful Radio Okapi network in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Current projects include establishing a Kanuri-language radio station in the Lake Chad Basin, targeting areas affected by Boko Haram. Dandal Kura broadcasts from studios in Maiduguri, and has been on the air since January 2015. David also provides political analysis on conflict zones and fragile states for various media outlets as well as think tanks.
Through Okapi Consulting, David Smith conceived and implemented a United Nations sponsored radio project, Bar-Kulan (meeting place in Somali), established for the people of Somalia and the Somali Diaspora.
His background in electronic media is extensive, including producer positions with the international public broadcasters of Canada and the Netherlands as well as managing a commercial transformation project at South Africa's Capital Radio. David’s work in development began in Zimbabwe shortly after independence as part of an education programme funded by the Canadian government to help get young Zimbabweans back into classrooms after the war in that country had ended.
While on mission, he hunts down books by local authors and writes about both the book and the search for it in Book Safari, a column in the Mail & Guardian newspaper (Johannesburg).