Farm Radio International at 4th Pan African AMARC conference in Côte d’Ivoire (By Blythe McKay, Farm Radio International’s Development Communication Coordinator)

    | May 11, 2009

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    Two representatives from Farm Radio International had the pleasure of participating in the recent AMARC conference in Cote d’Ivoire. Blythe McKay shares her story below, while Modibo Coulibaly’s story will be shared in next week’s FRW.

    If you or a member of your radio organization participated in the conference, we would love to hear your reflections on the event and share them with our readers. You may e-mail FRW Editor Heather Miller at to submit an article about your experience. Or, to share a shorter anecdote, visit the FRW website ( and click on the “Post a Comment” link at the end of this article.

    For the fourth time ever more than 100 community radio broadcasters from 28 countries across sub-Saharan Africa came together to share successes, discuss challenges, and plan for sustainability at the Pan African AMARC conference in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, from April 27-30.

    Modibo Coulibaly, National Coordinator for the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) in Mali, and I represented Farm Radio International at the conference. Many of the community radio stations at the event were Farm Radio International broadcasting partners, meaning that they produce programs on agricultural and rural development topics of relevance to their audiences, receive and/or contribute to script packages, and/or participate in AFRRI. Stations such as Radio Maendeleo in Kenya, Mama FM in Uganda, and Radio Flambeau in Cameroon took advantage of the occasion to become Farm Radio International broadcasting partners.

    The third day of the conference presented an opportunity for participants to build capacity on areas such as programming on HIV and AIDS and climate change adaptation. Modibo and I facilitated a three-hour workshop for more than 20 broadcasters on how to write introductions for radio programs (for an overview of the workshop visit

    On day four, I had the chance to visit Radio Paix Sanwi, a longtime broadcasting partner of Farm Radio International. I returned to the conference in time to see the new AMARC Africa board voted in (see to find out who was elected).