George Atkins Communications Award nominee Benjamin Boureima Nama, Radio Evangile Développement, Burkina Faso
Benjamin Boureima Nama was first introduced to Farm Radio International’s resources for broadcasters in 1999 when he was an intern at Radio Evangile Développement in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The director general of the Radio Evangile Développement network produced a program called “Le défi de L’Afrique” (The challenges of Africa), which gave practical tips. The producer used Farm Radio resources, which Mr. Nama read on air. He recalls, “The very first that I read was about making compost.”
Mr. Nama later became the station manager at Radio Evangile Développement in Léo, and became a Farm Radio broadcasting partner himself. He says he has been inspired by FRI’s resources to improve the content of his radio shows and to make them more participatory, involving his listeners as much as possible.
Mr. Nama knows that his listeners appreciate his hard work. He says that a listener named Jean Baptiste Sawadogo was able to double his maize production after using crop residues as a fertilizer, which he learned about through Radio Evangile Développement’s farmer program.
Mr. Nama has produced many radio programs on culture, health, hygiene, sanitation, women’s rights (including female genital mutilation and early marriage), farming, food security, land security, natural resource management, and gender equality.
On the topic of gender equality, Mr. Nama was involved with a Farm Radio International project about the shea sector. Shea nut is an important crop for women in Burkina Faso. The project, in collaboration with the Uniterra program, aired interactive radio programs to engage women shea nut harvesters and provide them with information to improve their lives and livelihoods. The program allows listeners to express their views, leave messages, and ask specific questions through Farm Radio’s Uliza platform.
At Radio Evangile Développement, Mr. Nama has been coordinating production plans, setting up community listening groups, and producing more than 20 interactive programs on the shea sector for over 5,000 women shea nut harvesters.
Mr. Nama holds a university diploma in organizational management and has worked as a journalist for 18 years, but he is constantly seeking more opportunities to learn. For his work in radio, he has been awarded the Chevalier de l’ordre du mérite Burkinabé (Knight of the Burkinabe Order of Merit).
He is currently a radio craft officer with Farm Radio International, and supports other broadcasters to develop participatory radio programs for Farm Radio projects.
He says: “This prize, of course, is a kind of recognition of my modest contribution to local development in general, but it is also and above all a great challenge for me. [I strive to do] better than what won me this prize, especially that I am now a member of the FRI team. It is with pride that I bring my stone to the building that Georges Atkins built for the benefit of the farming world. I will put my experience to work to grow the reach of his work through the radio.”