A Catholic radio station in rural Uganda has won the admiration of an international panel of judges for contributing "significantly to knowledge and development in the area."
Radio Pacis, based in Arua in the West Nile District, was named Africa's New Radio Station of the Year in a competition celebrating radio excellence in the continent, organized by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
In at the awards ceremony in Nairobi on Saturday, the judges described Radio Pacis as "a fine example of what a community radio station based outside the capital can do."
With a small staff and modest resources, the station "still addresses challenging local issues, including providing advice on medical and health problems and debating matters of local interest alongside local and national news.
While the station does not have perfect sound quality, the judges are still convinced that Pacis contributes significantly to knowledge and development in the area." Besides a trophy, the station will also receive $5,000 worth of equipment from the BBC.
An ecstatic Sherry Meyer, the station manager, told Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) that, “the win was a moment of joy for not just the station but also for all Catholic media initiatives in Africa.”
Radio Pacis was started with the assistance of the Comboni Missionaries in 2004, following "a cry from the people that they wanted a radio station," the programme manager, Anecho Sam, said.
He said the focus of the station is development of the human person, and targets Catholics and non-Catholics alike. "It is the station that the people asked for."
Radio Pacis can be heard in the West Nile area, parts of southern Sudan, and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.