Farm Radio International celebrates excellence in African radio broadcasting with our annual awards. As always, this year’s winners of the George Atkins Communication Award and the Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio are excellent examples of how radio broadcasters and radio programs can serve listeners and improve their lives. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them much success in their future endeavours.
This year, we honoured our winners and runners-up in an online, bilingual event on Feb. 14, 2023, following World Radio Day. You can watch the event recording below, or scroll down further to learn about each individual broadcaster.
The George Atkins Communication Award recognizes individual radio broadcasters for their outstanding commitment and contribution to food security and poverty reduction. It is presented each year to broadcasters who demonstrate overall excellence in responding to small-scale farmers’ needs, as well as a strong partnership with Farm Radio International. The award is named after George Atkins, the Founding Director of Farm Radio International.
This year’s winners are:
Sakina Majawa works for Chanco Community Radio in Malawi as a producer and presenter. She currently produces and presents three farmer programs: Zaulimi (Agricultural issues) discusses the local agricultural calendar, Imvani za Kumudzi (The village voice) focuses on climate change and adaptation measures, and Ulimi ndi Nyengo (Farming and weather) presents the weekly weather forecast. To keep her programs interesting, Sakina uses nature sounds, songs sung by listeners in local languages, and a variety of formats, including mini-dramas, poems, panel discussions and interviews.
Evelyn Balozi serves in many roles at Utume FM in Tanzania, including producer, presenter, acting station manager and marketing officer. Evelyn is currently working on an agroecological program that discusses step-by-step processes to prepare land, create inputs, and plant, harvest and store crops in ecologically-friendly ways. It also covers adding value and marketing. She designs each program to give farmers the opportunity to talk about their challenges through call-ins, in-studio interviews, written messages to the station or vox pops.
Hortense Lamboni is a journalist and presenter at Radio Rurale Communautaire des Savanes in Togo. She broadcasts a program called Kpal n’yaal oukoa (That the farmers may flourish), which features exchanges between farmers and extension agents in order to help both men and women farmers improve their production. The focus is on soybean and groundnuts, key value chains in the region, and the role of women in agriculture. This program used Uliza polls to boost interactivity. She also produces a program called L’heure d’entrepreneuriat agricole (Agricultural entrepreneur hour).
The Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio recognizes excellent radio programs that serve women listeners. Winning radio programs explore and advance gender equality; for example, by sharing the experiences and opinions of women, addressing topics of importance to women or underlining the role of men in gender equality. The award is given to the team of people who make this program happen.
This year’s winners are:
Égalité des genres et équilibre social (Gender equality and social balance) from Radio Évangile Albarka, Togo (Grand Prize winner)
In 45 minutes each week, Égalité des genres et équilibre social aims to discuss the norms and beliefs that make rural women dependent on men, including practices that undermine women’s access to and control over resources. The program also helps listeners better understand concepts such as gender roles, positive masculinities, the contribution of women to local food security and men’s role in promoting gender equality. In addition, it illustrates how gender equality promotes social cohesion and healthy families. The production team even extends issues of inclusion to marginalized groups including people with disabilities and ethnic minority groups.
Keneya blon (Health corridor) from Radio Baoulé in Mali (Runner-up)
Keneya blon is an informative and engaging 30-minute program that aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls, as well as strengthen the prevention of and response to gender-based violence. In past episodes, Keneya blon has worked to debunk myths and misconceptions about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The production team overcomes challenges in each episode to highlight the voices of women on air, using channels such as Farm Radio’s Uliza poll, WhatsApp and community listening groups.
Duond Mikayi from Radio Mikayi in Kenya (Runner-up)
In long feature programs, sometimes upward of two hours per episode, Duond Mikayi aims to both celebrate and empower women in a variety of traditional and non-traditional roles. The production team sees the program as an opportunity to help women start their own businesses, and in each episode, encourages men to support their wives, mothers and sisters at home by sharing in household responsibilities. Other topics addressed include leadership, business, mental health, disabilities and more. Listeners say the program is changing the way they view gender roles in their community.
Congratulations again to the winners and runners-up of 2023 Farm radi Awards!