Niger ranks among the poorest countries in the world with a majority of its population living in rural communities with low levels of literacy. Consequently, radio is the primary source of information and entertainment amongst most Nigeriens, as opposed to print media or more expensive television.
Media can play a crucial role in empowering vulnerable and marginalized groups, and over the past 10 years radio has become the main means of mass communication in Niger, effectively matching its oral traditions.
In 2008, Equal Access began working in Niger as the media partner in the USAID-funded Peace through Development (PDEV) project implemented by AED. Using its inventive participatory radio methodology, Equal Access’ talented team of Nigerien producers engages millions of listeners through the production of three weekly radio series on youth, good governance and religious tolerance. These programs are complemented by civil society strengthening and engagement activities such as listening and dialogue groups and trainings for religious leaders.
In addition to producing high quality radio programs, Equal Access implements a variety of other media activities that support the burgeoning Nigerien radio sector including technical and management trainings, radio mapping and the introduction and integration of new media technology.
As of June, 2010 an estimated 2.5 million Nigeriens regularly listen to at least one of our weekly radio series from a well-established network of 40 partner stations including national, commercial and community radio stations across the five PDEV target regions in Niger. In 2012 phase two of this initiative was launched with our new implementing partner IRD. Equal Access is dedicated to continuing our engagement, education and capacity building for the local media and communities throughout Niger.