On the 28th of February, 2018 CSIR-SARI in collaboration with CountryWise Communication organized its maiden journalist awards event dubbed, “The Harmattan Awards”. This event was to target exemplary agricultural journalist on TV, radio and print media within the three northern regions, and show appreciation for their exceptional work.

The event, which took place at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Tamale, was under the theme, “The role of the journalist in promoting agriculture as a business”. The event attracted a number of dignitaries from across the country including Rev. Perez Kassim, Director of Rumnet, Phil Malone, co-founder of Access Agriculture, representatives from the RING Project, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and USAID/SARI-Core of Excellence Project (CoE), just to mention a few.

Journalist’s from media houses across the three northern regions participated fully in this event by submitting their works according to the criteria listed by the organizers of the event. Stories sent in were scrutinized by selected judges who then selected the overall best stories and thus the winning journalist.

Mr. Raymond Vuol, the Executive Director of CountryWise Communication gave his appreciation to the various sponsors and partners for their enormous support to the Harmattan Awards. He hoped that the next Harmattan Awards will attract the interest of more journalist to submit their work. He acknowledged the presence of all sponsors and thanked them for their contributions to the success of the event.
Mr. Phil Malone said in his speech that CountryWise Communication has really reduced the hectic work of most development organizations by providing distribution channels and easy translation for findings on agriculture-related issues to be sent to the farmers in northern Ghana of which majority do not understand English.

Dr. Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah, a Scientist at the CSIR-SARI represented the Director of CSIR-SARI and gave an appreciative message on their collaboration with CountryWise Communications. CSIR-SARI is a research institution which usually communicates in English through publications and demonstrations to her audience. With the help of CountryWise Communications, her research findings, technologies and ideas have been translated into simplified local languages to meet the needs of her target audience the farmers. CSIR-SARI has managed to create more impact in the agriculture sector with the help of CountryWise and journalist. CSIR- SARI’s mission is to improve the welfare of farmers and agriculture workers by researching and coming out with innovative ideas for farmers, thus the partnership with CountryWise Communication and other media houses helps them to achieve this.

Dr. Adjebeng-Danquah congratulated the organizers of the event and admonished journalists to continue to work tirelessly in providing information to the public on agricultural issues within the country. He again promised Mr. Vuol that, the CSIR-Research Scientists Association (RSA) will partner with CountryWise Communication to enhance their visibility to the public.

The award for best radio journalist sponsored by CSIR-SARI went to Mr. Philip Tenzu. He received a Plaque, a citation, a Samsung tablet and other tools to help enhance his journalist work. The award for best print journalist sponsored by Access Agriculture was handed to Mr. Prosper Kwame. He also received a plaque, a citation, a Samsung tablet and other relevant tools to enhance his work. Both journalists showed their appreciation to the organizers for the kind gesture shown them. They promised to work even harder to achieve greater heights. The program ended successfully and more journalists were encouraged to work and also apply for the next season’s event.

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