FM stations' role in rural development: The case of northern Ghana

Mu Azu Iddirisu Andani, Osman Antwi-Boateng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past two decades, Ghana's media landscape has undergone radical transformation, leading to the emergence of hundreds of frequency modulation (FM) stations across the country. These stations have become the country's most powerful mediums of communication, carrying an array of programs aimed at diverse audiences. With northern Ghana as a case study, this research examines FM stations' role in rural development, their mode of impact, and their attendant challenges. This is achieved via qualitative methodology; that is, in-depth interviews with station managers and local development stakeholders, supplemented by programming content analysis of ten FM stations. Findings indicate that FM stations in northern Ghana, irrespective of their classification, aid rural development by serving as an endogenous conduit for the transfer of information that promotes community development and empowerment. This is achieved through programming in local dialects, local musical and cultural programs, expert presentations, interactive phone-in sessions, and news presentations. Challenges include the lack of employee professionalism, financial constraints, poor audience research, technical challenges, excessively partisan political coverage, and lack of original programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-357
Number of pages22
JournalPerspectives on Global Development and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Communication and development
  • Community radio
  • Endogenous knowledge
  • FM stations
  • Northern Ghana
  • Rural development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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