Spotlight on AMARC 11, Accra, Ghana

| August 31, 2015

Download this story

Bart Sullivan is Farm Radio International’s Radio and ICT Manager. Mr. Sullivan attended the AMARC 11 conference in Accra, Ghana from August 10-14, hosted by the Ghana Community Radio Network.

After the conference, he said: “I feel reinvigorated by the power of community radio.”

AMARC, also known as the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, is an international NGO that serves community radio stations, with almost 4,000 members and associates in 130 countries.


Community radio broadcasters doing interviews during the AMARC 11 Conference in Accra, Ghana. Photo credit: FRI Ghana

The event was dedicated to the role that community radio can play in addressing food security. More than 200 representatives of community stations around the globe attended the conference.

Farm Radio International hosted a booth at the conference. The booth featured our Radio Resource Packs (in both English and French), information on FRI’s radio campaigns across Africa, and literature on our radio work on biofortified foods such as vitamin A-rich orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.

At the AMARC conference, community listener groups received sample radio sets―both “clockwork” radios (a type of battery-less radio powered by an internal generator) and radios powered by solar panels.

Many community radio station representatives registered their stations as FRI broadcaster partners. FRI also demonstrated how it uses its web application Uliza, which means “to ask” in Swahili. Uliza supports our ICT tools such as Beep2Vote, Beep4Weather, and The Listening Post.

Mr. Sullivan says the event was a complete success for all who participated. Two highlights stood out for him: First, Nigeria has for the first time issued licenses for community radio stations, and more than a dozen new stations were represented at the conference. Second, delegates from Nepal highlighted the important role that community radio played for rural Nepalese in the aftermath of the recent earthquakes. Nepalese authorities made it a priority to bring stations back on air in order to relay information to communities and help them cope with the devastating effect of the earthquakes.

Mr. Sullivan concludes: “There is nothing like it: national and private radios are good at reaching people, but community radio stations go beyond reach—they involve people. The smaller, more local coverage of community radio can work to its advantage … [community] radio can broadcast using local languages and has an appreciation of the nearby cultures, and a deeper understanding of, and a strong connection with, the people who make up their listening audience.”

To follow a discussion about AMARC 11 on Twitter, go to: You can also find out more through Facebook at:

For more information about AMARC, go to:

Main photo: Bart Sullivan (left) speaking with community broacaster during AMARC11 event.