Since the 1970s, when Farm Radio International was known as the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, we have championed the need for bringing radio broadcasters together. Providing an active network to share resources, learn from each other and simply be part of a radio movement has been an important part of our business for over 30 years.
Our traditional work for decades was providing printed script materials to broadcasters across the world. We still do this but our role has evolved. The network has grown, technology has changed and the time was ripe to offer a new way for broadcasters to connect with each other and share resources: enter Barza, the online community for African radio broadcasters. Barza is a French Congolese word with Kiswahili roots which means, “The place where people in a village meet under a tree to talk and sort out questions concerning the community.” We wanted to create a space for broadcasters, who all share similar experiences even though they can be thousands of kilometres apart, to interact and share resources with their peers.
Thanks to amazing support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) we have made Barza a reality. It is a place where broadcasters can access our library of scripts, Farm Radio Weekly, and on-line training modules. It also offers a way for broadcasters to share scripts and programs that they have created. And it is a place where broadcasters can discuss issues, chat, and follow each other. We are constantly gathering feedback from African broadcasters on how to make the site most useful in their everyday workflow.