Celebrating excellence in radio on World Radio Day
Each year, Farm Radio International celebrates excellence in radio broadcasting in Africa with our awards. The winners of the George Atkins Communications Award and the Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio serve as excellent examples of how radio broadcasters and radio programs can serve their audiences and improve the lives of their listeners. This year, we decided to celebrate this excellence in radio broadcasting on World Radio Day.
We celebrated through an online event. Hear from the winners themselves, in conversation with Lloyd Robertson and Nora Young in the video below.
The George Atkins Communications Award
The George Atkins Communications Award was first awarded 30 years ago to Ahmed Baba Counta of the Office of Radio and Television Broadcasting in Senegal. This award is named after our founder, George Atkins, and recognizes a radio broadcaster who serves their rural audience and is a committed partner of Farm Radio International.
This year’s winners are:
Madelena Mkirema, Radio Amani, Kenya
Madelena Mkirema has been a radio broadcaster for five years, working for three stations in various regions of Kenya. She is currently a host and presenter at Radio Amani in Nakuru.Over the course of her career, her skills have been recognized with two awards: she won for the most impactful story at the Digi Radio Awards, and was named best radio presenter at the Great Rift Valley Gospel Music Awards.
Alhassan Seidu Kayaba, Zaa Radio, Ghana
Alhassan Kayaba has worked in radio for the past 16 years, and is currently the assistant manager at Zaa FM in Tamale, northern Ghana. He is also a farmer, and part of his inspiration in becoming a broadcaster was the opportunity to be a voice for farmers and provide them with the opportunity to be heard.
Vianney Watsongo Katsuva, Radio Télévision Évangélique et De Développement Hermon, DRC
For Vianney Watsongo Katsuva, being a broadcaster means being a voice for others. Mr. Katsuva has more than 13 years of experience as a journalist. Now, as editor-in-chief at Radio Télévision Évangélique et de Développement Hermon in Rutshuru, DRC, he makes agriculture a priority by giving farmers a platform to tell their stories and learn from experts.
The Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio
The Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio was first awarded in 2019 to Voice of Kigezi’s B’Omugaiga program. This award recognizes a radio program team dedicated to serving women listeners. Their program addresses gender equality and raises the voices of women.
The Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio is named after a former board member of Farm Radio International. Liz Hughes was a reporter, broadcaster and newsroom leader herself. She worked for many years at the CBC, supporting other broadcasters through her role as a senior manager. At Farm Radio, and in everything she did, Liz was also a champion of gender equality.
Liz died of cancer in 2018, but we’re proud to honour her memory every year through this award.
This year’s winners are:
Tupiganishe Show from Radio Communautaire Salama, DRC (Grand Prize winner)
This 30-minute show addresses gender-based violence, a challenging and sensitive issue that they address with care, but also in a way that is engaging for listeners. The production team speaks to men and women in the community, as well as experts from one of the women’s organisations who supports the planning of the program. They also share a phone number that listeners can call to report incidents of gender-based violence or to learn more.
She Show from Ahomka FM, Ghana (Runner up prize)
The She Show is a vibrant one-hour weekly show all about women’s issues, from their finances and sex life to child rearing, health, family issues, and more. Many of the on-air discussions touch on women’s rights in society and the importance of women’s voices in decision-making. Women are involved in planning and producing this program, which features many women’s voices, but also men’s, on issues important to women.
“Agriculture et Developpement” from Radio Rurale Locale de Banikoara, Benin (Runner up prize)
This 20-minute program addresses agriculture and development, particularly the cotton industry in Benin. But it makes space to address the role of women in this value chain, including women’s access to land and women’s representation in cooperatives.
World Radio Day
We congratulate each of these broadcasters on their excellent work serving their audiences with interesting and informative radio programming.
World Radio Day is a great time for us all to celebrate the power of radio and the power of radio broadcasters to spark change in their communities. Radio keeps people connected, sharing stories and knowledge from one place to another. It also connects people to the information they need to improve their lives and livelihoods, particularly during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to everyone on their excellent broadcasting work in this difficult year when radio has been more important than ever.