Report on USAID/VOA Education Programs Held in Sokoto

Sokoto, Nigeria

“Our schools must be girl-child friendly and be able to accommodate the basic needs of our female children,” the Sultan of Sokoto.

VOA successfully executed three programs  in Sokoto State, Northern Nigeria under the Education Project funded by the USAID Nigeria.


Widespread broadcast and print coverage in English and Hausa across the North and on network TV,including national and local television and radio news programs, national newspapers, including the Daily Independent.

  • Dissemination of information on Girls Education to more than 3,000 people who came to the Town Hall
  • Engagement of top Nigerian political and religious leaders on an important U.S. policy issue: empowering and educating girls and women.
  • Training and story development for 15 broadcast and print journalists who, guided by experts, examined ways to improve coverage of girls education. Creation of a Facebook Group (VOA Education Nigeria) which collected 66 members in one week.
  • Creation of a Hausa website (
  • A VOA press release that was distributed to U.S. media and the U.S. Congress.


  • Workshop for 15 Nigerian journalists on education coverage. Jan 18-19, 2011.
  • Two-day journalism workshop focused on education and general reporting. Presenters included Joan Mower, VOA; Aliyu Mustafa, VOA; Dr. Ladi Adamu of Ahmedu Bello University and Sandy Ojikutu of USAID-Abuja. Topics included “What is News,” “The Role of the Electronic Media in Covering Girls Education;” “Research,” “Ethics in Journalism,” and group exercises used on interviewing and accessing information about education in Nigeria. Dr. Ray Kirkland, director of the USAID Mission in Nigeria and Peter Claussen, the U.S. Embassy’s PAO, also addressed the journalists.

Town Hall

  • Town Hall Meeting attracted Some 3,000 attendees came to the Town Hall Meeting with stakeholders at Sokoto Poly Auditorium Hall on Jan. 20, 2011
  • Novelty football match between VOA Super Stars vs. Dange-Shuni FC. Jan. 17, 2011. Over 1,000 USAID-approved BCC pamphlets were shared to spectators at half-time.

Special Guests at the Town Hall Meeting include:

  1. Her Excellency, Hajia Amina Namadi Sambo, Wife of the Vice President FRN
  2. His Excellency, Alh. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Governor, Sokoto State
  3. Dr. Ray Kirkland, Mission Director, USAID Nigeria.
  4. Peter Claussen, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy Nigeria.
  5. Zonal Coordinator, (North West) UNICEF, Nigeria
  6. Zonal Manager, DFID, (North West)
  7. The Sultan of Sokoto, (Emir of Talatar Mafara)
  8. Representative of Minister of Education, Hajia Hindatu, Director, Scholarship, FMOE
  9. Hajia Zainab Maina, Chairman, Board of Nomadic Education.
  10. Wives of Minister
  11. The Wife of Deputy Speaker (Senate), National Assembly, Hajia Maryam Nafada.
  12. Three (3) Female Senior Special assistants to Niger State Governor
  13. Hon. Saudatu Sani, Chairman, House Committee on MDGs, National Assembly
  14. The Rep. of Chairman Council of Chiefs, Zamfara State.
  15. Chief of Parties USAID IPs –TSHIP, NEI, VOA, and Acquire Fistula representative.
  16. Community Leaders and people of Sokoto State
  17. VOA Staff.

More than 3,000 came to the Town Hall meeting. About 2,000 people men, women, youth from the community, NGOs and secondary school were inside the hall for the event. About 1,000 people arrived late, and security denied them entry on protocol grounds.


“It is fundamental that girls go to school … All radio and TV stations should work to spread the message about the value of girls’ education,” Hajia Amina Namadi Sambo, the wife of Nigeria’s vice president.

“Girls must be educated for the future of the nation,” Peter Claussen, PAO, US Embassy.

“Educated women engender better health, make better teachers and better mothers,” Dr. Ray Kirkland, chief of the USAID Mission.

“The Government is taking the issue of full and universal education very seriously,” Minister of Education Rufai