Congratulations to the winners of the 25th George Atkins Communications Award!

Farm Radio International would not exist without the efforts of one exceptional Canadian farm broadcaster: our founder, the late George Atkins. Each year, we pay tribute to him and to outstanding African rural radio broadcasters through an award named in George’s honour.

“Farmers in the broadcast range of the George Atkins Communications Award winners and runners-up are blessed to have such strong champions working tirelessly to produce radio programs that respond to their needs,” says Blythe McKay, Director of Broadcaster Resources for Farm Radio International. “Their programs provide opportunities for farmers to share their views and experiences, and to learn about important agricultural topics, benefiting farmers and their communities.”

On the 25th anniversary of the George Atkins Communications Award, we are pleased to recognize three broadcasters who work tirelessly to produce radio programs that serve farmers. Congratulations to Carole Leuwe of Cameroon, Gideon Sarkodie of Ghana, and Sarah Adongo of Uganda, our 2016 winners. They will each receive a cash prize equivalent to 500 Canadian dollars in recognition of the work they do to serve farming communities through radio.

Carole Leuwe, a journalist at Radio Nostalgie in Cameroon, is committed to bringing farmers hope in the face of big challenges. This hope comes in the form of reliable information, whether it’s about how to grow tomatoes or how to use new online platforms to sell agricultural products. Highlights of her four years as a radio host include producing a show about raising chickens that received many requests for rebroadcast, as well as one focused on avoiding malaria. Carole has participated in several of FRI’s online training courses as well as a face-to-face consultation about Barza, FRI’s online community for radio broadcasters.
Gideon Sarkodie of ADARS FM in Ghana has hosted and produced agricultural radio shows for nearly a decade. He often goes beyond the usual role of a broadcaster to advocate for rural communities. When he learned that one of his listening communities lost access to water after three wells were destroyed, he called on government officials to act. His on-air advocacy continued until the wells in Chiranda were reconstructed. Gideon has earned top honours in FRI’s broadcaster e-courses and regularly contributes to our online broadcaster discussion forums. He’s also committed to helping other broadcasters develop professionally as an FRI in-station trainer.
Sarah Adongo, a broadcaster with Mega FM in Uganda, loves working with farmers because it reminds her of where she came from. Sarah’s parents were small-scale farmers and the proceeds from their farm paid for her higher education. She feels a personal responsibility to provide small-scale farmers with the information they need when they need it. Sarah also believes that farmers must be able to speak and be heard in order to improve their lives. Sarah has been involved in three FRI impact projects, including the My Children radio drama, which encourages listeners to grow and eat nutritious orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Congratulations also go to this year’s runners-up:

  • Privat Tiburce Martin Massanga of Radio MUCODEC in Congo-Brazzaville,
  • Soumaïla Gado of Radio Dar Es Salam in Niger, and
  • Winnie Onyimbo of Trans World Radio in Kenya.

Thank you all for your commitment to your listeners and for the resulting positive change that you are making possible in rural communities across Africa.

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