YenKasa Africa celebrates World Radio Day (13 February) with its Rural Radio initiative for sustainable agriculture and rural development. The theme for this year is “Radio: A century of information, entertainment, and education”.
The Rural Radio Initiative of YenKasa Africa 2023 was conducted in a participatory approach. Community and associative media, development institutions, and farmers’ organizations actively participated in radio programming from program conception, theme definition, and selection of interviewees to broadcasting.
This initiative in Africa, as well as those developed in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, has generated radio programs focused on the needs and priorities of family farmers. These programs have been broadcast by dozens of radios in rural areas, reaching millions of farmers worldwide. These programs are accessible on the three platforms YenKasa Africa, ComDev Asia, and Onda Rural in the dedicated radio section
In Africa, the initiative partnered with ten farmers’ organizations from eight African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Madagascar, Togo, Liberia, and Gambia. Collaborating with a network of 17 rural radio partners, a total of 109 radio programs were developed in 14 diverse local languages, as well as English and French.
The Rural Radio Initiative has not only empowered family farmers but has also contributed to raising awareness of the vital role of family farming in sustainable agrifood systems. It aligns with the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF 2019-2028), which emphasizes the importance of communication in advancing family farming and enhancing the ICT capacity of family farmers.
The initiative’s participatory approach ensured that farmers’ organizations actively participated in designing radio programs tailored to specific family farmers‘ needs. These programs serve three primary objectives: raising awareness about family farming’s role in sustainable agrifood systems, sharing information about farmers‘ organizations‘ issues and priorities, and enhancing radio’s interactive role in supporting family farming.
The topics explored in these radio programs, carefully identified and developed by farmers’ organizations, touch upon vital issues such as climate change challenges, agroecology opportunities, forestry, access to finance and markets, and the growing roles of women and youth in family farming.
To celebrate World Radio Day 2024, all stations and radio networks involved in the Rural Radio Initiative 2023 will participate in a live broadcast, airing radio programs focused on family farming issues and rural life. They will unite under the common message and slogan, “Rural Radio – Shaping together sustainable landscapes and livelihoods.” Each radio station will broadcast 2-3 main programs, emphasizing collaborative efforts to promote sustainable rural development.
YenKasa Africa’s dedication to utilizing rural radio for empowerment and knowledge dissemination is commendable. As we celebrate World Radio Day 2024, let us recognize the essential role of radio in shaping a sustainable future for rural communities worldwide.