In January 2014 the W4RA team met in Ouagadougou to prepare for activities in Burkina Faso. The local partner here is Réseau MARP, the Burkinabe NGO that supports farmers in their regreening activities. VU Amsterdam through Chris Reij, has collaborated with Réseau MARP since the 1980s. The director of Réseau MARP, Mathieu Ouedraogo was one of the key-note speakers together with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Yacouba Sawadogo, the man who stopped the desert, at the Web for Social Development symposium at VU Amsterdam, in October 2009.
Meeting with Mathieu Ouedraogo, president of Réseau Marp and one of the first partners in W4RA since its start in October 2009. Mathieu organized this trip. Travel by 4×4 from Ouagadougou to Ouahigouya, with a short stop in Gourcy, to visit the field of a farmer-innovator: Ousseini Zoromé and his son. Zoromé is an agro-forester; he cultivates 30 hectares with sorghum, millet, njebe, sesame and several other crops, including horticulture. He explains the importance having three elements: l’agriculture, l’elevage et l’arbre. If one of these three is lacking, the agro-system is not in balance. He has about 17 different tree species on his land,all of them growing by natural regeneration. Keeping cattle is an important means to guarantee resilience. Mr. Zoromé uses his mobile phone to sell his cattle. Since he knows most people in the area and he calls potential buyers directly to arrange for an appointment. According to him no mobile means no progress: a mobile helps to improve time management.
After check-in in Hotel l’Amitié in Ouahigouya, and lunch at le Cayman, visit to Radio la Voix du Paysan. W4RA was here in February 2010 and again in January 2011.
Representatives from four radios are present at this meeting. Radio La Voix du Paysan, Radio Wend-Panga, (La force de Dieu) a private radio; Radio Notre-Dame du Sahel, a catholic radio, financed by the church. Radio Solidarité, a muslim radio. All participants show interest to collaborate in future activities. The voice-based services Foroba Blon and RadioMarché are discussed and demonstrated. We visit to all radios before dark.