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Salifu Wonunuo, runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award

Salifu Wonunuo is a journalist and news editor at W 93.5 FM in Wa in the Upper West region of Ghana. During his university education, he often visited his school’s radio station, which nurtured his interest in broadcasting. After finishing school in 2012, he worked at Bugli FM, a station that promoted indigenous content in local languages.

In 2015, Mr. Wonunuo moved to W 93.5 FM and started working as an agricultural reporter. His parents were farmers and farmers’ organization leaders, so he was interested in working on programs that featured farmers’ voices and helped address their challenges.

This year, Mr. Wonunuo is a runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award. 

Mr. Wonunuo’s strength is his knowledge of the local terrain and of small-scale farmers’ issues. His insights inspire the diversity and depth of information shared on his program.

One of the biggest challenges in Mr. Wonunuo’s community is women’s lack of access to fertile farmland. Assisted by his team’s work on W93.5 FM’s farmers’ program, Agric today, in 2015, three women’s groups obtained access to land. 

Currently, he is working on FRI’s Standard Weights and Measure project.

Mr. Wonunuo incorporates farmers’ voices in his programs by recording them in field interviews, using vox pops, creating mini-dramas, and hosting live phone-in programs. To entertain farmers and capture their attention, his programs feature local music, and offer mini-quizzes with prizes for winners and loyal listeners.

His listeners appreciate how Mr. Wununuo’s programs feature subject matter specialists and other key stakeholders, and say that having the opportunity to speak and be heard gives them a sense of belonging and joy.

Mr. Wonunou has participated in various FRI trainings, which he says have built his capacity to produce good, interactive farmer programs. He has also learned to design and produce programs not only to share knowledge, interact with, and entertain listeners, but also to deal with issues through a gender lens. He receives resources such as weather information, market prices, and Barza Wire stories on the FRI WhatsApp platform and via email.

In 2019, Mr. Wonunou was awarded the award for Development Journalist in Agriculture for northern Ghana and the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology Reporter of the year award (radio category). He was also selected as one of the finalists at the continental awards representing Ghana. He recently won Journalist of the Year (2021) at the Northern Radio Awards in Ghana.

Photo: Salifu Wonunuo in studio. Picture courtesy of W 93.5 FM.