W4RA team visits Radio Sikidolo: key user of our voice system in Mali

Members of the W4RA team and partners from AOPP visited Radio Sikidolo in Konobougou, Mali. Radio Sikidolo and W4RA have worked together on the co-creation of the Foroba Blon radio/mobbile voice-based system  since 2012.

Adama Tessougué, director  of Radio Sikidolo and key-user of the Foroba Blon system want to use this system to collect reports from  the field. Adama works together with 80 village reporters who send interesting news to the radio. However, they do not have Internet, and they speak Bambara language. Foroba Blon is used to collect and manage the voice reports.  This must be robust, easy to use and low-cost. It must be usable for those without internet.

The first version of Foroba Blon developed in 2012 in collaboration with SBC4D, was hosted on the voice-based Orange platform Emerginov, a large-scale platform, hosted in Paris, France, and accessible via Internet and connected trhough a gateway to the local Malian phone network.

This technical solution proved to be unsustainable on the longer run, due to high costs of hosting, for the local population and for the radio. Since that time, the W4Ra team has been working on “down-scaled“, local solutions, to better serve the rural population.  The most recent version, in Bambara language, is a co-creation between André Baart and Adama Tessougué.