Farm Radio International celebrates World Radio Day with farmers and broadcasters

| February 23, 2015

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“World Radio Day is FRI’s Christmas Day!” So says Bart Sullivan, FRI’s Radio & ICT Manager.

Farm Radio International’s Tanzania office celebrated World Radio Day in style on February 13, 2015. The day was hot, the sun shone in a cloudless sky, and FRI’s staff were ready to welcome their guests.

The guests of honour – members of listening groups from local villages and five secondary schools – were greeted by Japhet Emmanuel, FRI Tanzania’s Country Director.

Farmers from Makiba and Muhalala villages, and students and teachers from Maroroni, Olmotonyi Forest, Mlangarini, Lemara, and Kikwe secondary schools listened as Mr. Emmanuel explained that the listeners were important to the work that FRI does in Tanzania.

The farmers and students then visited FRI’s Hanger Radio & ICT Innovation Lab, where Kassim Shegembe demonstrated the technologies behind FRI’s Beep-2-vote and Beep for weather services. The guests were able to test the services in the lab to see exactly how they work.

Kassim Shegembe gave Mbike Mashuri, a teacher from Nashori secondary school, a phone number for the Beep-2-vote system. The teacher called and then disconnected after he heard the ringing tone. A few moments later, the system called him back and asked him a series of recorded questions. As he responded to the questions, the guests watched as the computers documented his responses.

Mr. Mashuri was impressed to see first-hand how the system worked.

The farmers and students then travelled to the Arusha studios of Radio 5, one of FRI’s broadcasting partners. One of the station’s program managers, Matthew Phillip, welcomed them warmly.

Mr. Phillip gave the guests a guided tour of Radio 5’s offices, including the studio where the farming programs are broadcast, and the editing studio where the shows are put together.

The teams at FRI Tanzania and Radio 5 were delighted to share their work with the farmers and students, who enjoyed a full and exciting day.