Twenty-one Francophone African broadcasters learn to make radio with a story-based approach and well-focused ideas

Jeanne Tchakoute is wearing a beautiful pink suit. Full of energy, she gets up to dance and sing. She bends forward while pretending to wipe sweat from her forehead. She is simulating a dance done by women farmers, demonstrating how they suffer to transport their crops to town. Jeanne is a journalist at Radio FM 100 Medumba in Cameroon. She was one of 21 participants who attended a workshop on creating and evaluating scripts and programs for radio audiences in rural Africa.

With the help and vast experience of trainer Sylvain Desjardins, senior journalist with Radio-Canada, the workshop was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from November 29th to December 3rd. Farm Radio International collaborated with Jade Productions and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation to offer this five-day workshop. Nelly Bassily, Research and Production Officer at Farm Radio International, helped co-facilitate the workshop. She describes the highlights.

The scene: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The “Pays des Hommes Intègres” (country of men of integrity) is jaded by the re-election of President Blaise Compaoré, but completely absorbed by the presidential fight in neighbouring Ivory Coast. The Hotel Ran Somketa in downtown Ouagadougou is the setting for fruitful exchanges among broadcasters from Burkina Faso, of course, but also broadcasters from Benin, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Chad and Togo.

Each morning begins with a little song, a joke or an anecdote, an initiative of one of our broadcasters. Félix Houinsou from Radio Immaculée Conception in Benin kicks things off. Clapping his hands, he sings: “There are things like this that annoy me often! These are things … that annoy me!” And presto, here we go.

The participants begin by discussing agricultural topics of importance to their listeners. For example, the decrease in watermelon production is one of the topics presented by Adama Tessouké, radio host at Radio Sikidolo in Mali. To read more, click here.

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