Radio Pacis, a Ugandan radio station, has received the opportunity to launch a second FM frequency thanks to the prize money it won at the BBC Africa Radio Awards in 2007.
The Arua-based Catholic radio station won the New Station of the Year category at the first annual Radio Africa Awards ceremony, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya on May 26, 2007. Judges cited Radio Pacis’ ability to address the needs of the community as the reason for choosing the station.
The competition’s panel of four expert judges, led by former BBC World Service broadcaster Robin White, was impressed by Radio Pacis’ contribution to knowledge and development in the region. White said: “Radio Pacis is a fine example of what a community radio station outside the capital can do. It may have few staff and modest resources, but it still addresses challenging issues including providing advice on medical and health problems. It also offers debate on matters of local interest alongside local and national news."
The award comes with a $5,000 prize for purchasing new broadcasting equipment.
After the competition, the director of the station, Father Tonino Pasolini, expressed his gratitude saying: “We would like to thank BBC World Service for honoring Radio Pacis and making possible the launch of our new frequency. Winning the BBC New Station of the Year trophy and the prize money has changed all our lives. Also helped with other donations, we have been able to build a studio and buy the necessary equipment to support the launch of our new 94.5 FM frequency which means we can reach even more people than before."
Sherry Meyer, Radio Pacis Station Manager, added: “Our aim has always been to offer programming that helps with the development of the community as well as individual personal growth and this extra money and recognition from the BBC will help us to do that even better. With our current 90.9 FM frequency we offer programming in three local languages. With the new frequency we can now offer programming in four local languages. Both frequencies broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are important because they are the only means of information for those people who don’t speak a language particular to that area."