World Radio Day 2024: Empowering communities through rural radio initiatives in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America

World Radio Day 2024: Empowering communities through rural radio initiatives in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America

February 13— In celebration of World Radio Day 2024 with the theme “Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating”, the Communication for Development regional platforms, YenKasa Africa, ComDev Asia and Onda Rural, spotlight their Rural Radio Initiative 2023 as part of their commitment to advancing sustainable agriculture and rural development.

The Rural Radio Initiative 2023 was implemented in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America through the three virtual platforms using a participatory approach involving farmers’ associations, community media and development institutions. Farmers’ organizations have actively participated in the design of radio programmes, defining topics, broadcast schedules, and interviewees, as well as contributing to overall radio programming.

The initiative has generated people-centred radio programs addressing family farmers’ needs and priorities and have been broadcasted through tens of radio stations in rural areas, reaching millions of farmers globally. These radio programs are now made available online through YenKasa Africa, ComDev Asia and Onda Rural.

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 YenKasa Africa Rural Radio Initiative 2023 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.

In Asia-Pacific, a total of six countries participated in the initiative, namely Bangladesh, India, Nepal, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Solomon Islands. Each country partnered with a local farmer organization to ensure grassroots representation and participation, producing a total of 85 radio features broadcasted in six local radio stations and in six different local languages, in addition to English.

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. The regional initiatives’ 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.

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