The first time I entered the studios of Radio Ada 13 years ago as a volunteer, my passion was to serve my community, the Dangme-speaking people, through news and programs using the local language and culture. Here I am today as part of a team of Whole Radio Station Trainers, a dream beyond dreams. These are the words of one of the participants, Kofi Larweh, from Ghana.
The “whole station” training, which took place in the last week of March, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, focuses on building a range of broadcasting skills, including: farm radio programming design, management skills, and using ICTs for agricultural communication. The participants will later conduct similar trainings themselves in radio stations in their own countries. The ultimate goal of the trainings is to improve farm radio programming and the lives of farmers.
Kofi values the experience that his fellow trainees – from Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Ethiopia – bring to the table. The variety of ideas on production and management from different socio-political backgrounds broadens his outlook: “When I look at the years ahead, this experience, taking place in an international institution for livestock research, in humility reminds me that a healthy cow dies with grass in its mouth.”
As part of the course, the participants visited Oromiya Radio Station in the Oromiya Region of Ethiopia. The participants spoke highly of the course: Hilda Kileo is Radio Manager of Boma Hai Fun, owned by Hai district council, near Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She says,
The training is important to me, because the world keeps on changing and there is [a] need for broadcasters to update their knowledge. My radio station will improve … the way we … produce programs for farmers.
Mulu Berhe works for Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency as a program researcher. She says the training is a refresher. But she feels that it was also an eye-opener on how to improve their radio programs, especially by providing a more effective platform for farmers. She wants to be part of the solutions to farmers’ concerns.
The training was organized by Farm Radio International (FRI), and is being facilitated by David Mowbray, FRI’s Manager of Training and Standards, and Doug Ward, Chairperson of the FRI Board.