Radio remains a medium of choice for many, including migrant-sending communities across different regions in Ethiopia. Even migrants on the move have been known to use cellphones to tune into their home stations wherever there is reception.

The fact is radio is an enduring source of news and information, along with debate and discussion. With this in mind, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative) has signed an agreement with one of Ethiopia’s largest private media houses, Fana Broadcasting, for the production of a special radio series.

The programme will feature debate on migration-related issues, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has inhibited movement, impacting on thousands of Ethiopians. The series will be broadcast across the country in Amharic and regionally in selected languages, in Oromia and the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ regional states. It will be aired every two weeks over the coming eight months.

“Communication is a key component of the radio programme and will complement the work that we do,” remarked Sara Basha, coordinator of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in Ethiopia. “Returnees, most of the time come home empty-handed and with emotional, psychological and physical scars. They often don’t get the support they need.”

The reintegration of returnees as well as the risks inherent in irregular migration will feature prominently on the radio programme, enabling returnees to share their experiences. Other youth, including returnees, engaged in successful local businesses will be able to participate. 

Migrants are often lured by smugglers who portray the grass as greener across the border. Thus, many embark on the journey without realizing the extent of the hardships they are likely to face ahead.  A good example are Ethiopian migrants headed to the Gulf countries; many of them are oblivious to the ongoing war in Yemen, a country of transit.  

The radio programme will be broadcast in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, a close partner of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative.

Basha added: “This platform will help raise awareness among potential migrants and communities by disseminating information on the regular migration processes and oversees employment opportunities. We also hope that it will shed light on the various initiatives underway by different actors – both governmental and non-governmental - to raise awareness on regular migration and on the importance of sustainable reintegration and the need to work collectively and in full to make migration a choice and not a necessity.”

About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Launched in December 2016 and funded by the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the programme brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, the EU, and IOM around the goal of ensuring migration is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities.

For more information please contact Helina Mengistu, email:, or at Regional Office: Julia Hartlieb, email: and Wilson Johwa, email: